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CR 69:239-245 (2016)  -  DOI:

On the neglected cold side of climate change and what it means to fish

Petra Szekeres1,*, Erika J. Eliason1,2, Dominique Lapointe1,3, Michael R. Donaldson1, Jacob W. Brownscombe1, Steven J. Cooke1

1Fish Ecology and Conservation Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa ON K1S 5B6, Canada
2Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
3St. Lawrence River Institute, Cornwall ON K6H 4Z1, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Over the past decade nearly all of the research on the effects of climate change on fish has focused on the effects of warmer water temperatures. Yet, it is expected that temperature variability will also increase, resulting in more frequent incidences of rapid decreases in water temperatures (i.e. cold shock). Cold shock events have caused large-scale fish mortalities, and sublethal impacts are are also known to occur but are less well documented. We argue that cold shock will become an important selective force in climate change scenarios. There is a rich history of research on cold shock in the context of industrial cooling effluents and aquaculture, providing a foundation upon which to develop and extend future work on cold shock and climate change. To understand the diverse effects climate change may have on fish populations, future research needs to expand beyond the projected increases in water temperatures to include consideration of variability in temperature and the potential for cold shock.

KEY WORDS: Climate change · Water temperature · Cold shock · Fish · Research agenda

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Cite this article as: Szekeres P, Eliason EJ, Lapointe D, Donaldson MR, Brownscombe JW, Cooke SJ (2016) On the neglected cold side of climate change and what it means to fish. Clim Res 69:239-245.

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