Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 100, Issue 10, pp 1181–1192 | Cite as

Trophic state indicators are a better predictor of Florida bass condition compared to temperature in Florida’s freshwater bodies

  • Ross BoucekEmail author
  • Christian Barrientos
  • Michael R. Bush
  • David A. Gandy
  • Kyle L. Wilson
  • Joy M. Young


Forecasted increases in global temperatures will likely have profound effects on freshwater fishes. Overlaid on increasing global temperatures, human populations are expected to grow, which will increase anthropogenic nutrient enrichment in freshwater ecosystems. Florida (US) represents the equatorial range limit for many freshwater fishes, thus these species are potentially at risk to climate warming. Likewise, Florida’s population is expected to aggressively expand, increasing risk for nutrient enrichment. In this study, we examined whether maximum water temperatures or trophic state indicators (a proxy for nutrient enrichment) better explains variation in Florida Bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) condition across 23 different Florida freshwater bodies distributed throughout the state. Florida Bass lengths and weights, temperature, and chlorophyll-α, total phosphorous (TP), and total nitrogen (TN) measures were collected in the late summer and fall from 2010 to 2012. We described relationships between bass relative condition and environmental measurements (temperature, and trophic state indicators) across these lake-year combinations using linear and non-linear regressions. We found no significant relationship between temperature and bass condition (r2 = 0.01). However, we found that trophic state indicators did predict bass condition (r2 = 0.39–0.50). Though research is needed to more rigorously assess the effects of rising temperature on bass condition, our results may suggest that lake productivity is currently an influential driver on Florida Bass. As such, management efforts should continue to closely monitor and manage water quality and potential nutrient enrichment in Florida’s freshwater waters, as bass condition appears to be closely tied to lake productivity.


Florida bass Lake productivity Florida Condition 



We would like to acknowledge Travis Tuten and the Florida Chapter of the American Fisheries Society for advising us on this entirely student lead paper. We also acknowledge Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute Long Term Monitoring Program for providing bass demographic measures and water temperature measures, Lakewatch and the South Florida Water Management District for providing water quality data. We also thank Jesse Blanchard and Crystal Hartman for their contributions to the manuscript. Electrofishing methods were approved by Florida International University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), protocol approval number, 12-030 and protocol reference number 200110. This project was developed with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Water, Sustainability, and Climate (WSC) program NSF EAR-1204762, and the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE) Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program (NSF DEB-1237517). This is contribution no. XXXXXX from the Southeast Environmental Research Centerat Florida International University.


  1. Austin JD, Johnson A, Matthews M, Tringali MD, Porak WF, Allen MS (2012) An assessment of hatchery effects on Florida bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) microsatellite genetic diversity and sib-ship reconstruction. Aquac Res 434:628–638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bachmann RW, Jones BL, Fox DD, Hoyer M, Bull LA, Canfield DE (1996) Relations between trophic state indicators and fish in Florida (USA) lakes. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 53:842–855CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bailey RM, Hubbs CL (1949) The black basses (Micropterus) of Florida, with description of a new species. U Mich Mus Zool Occas Papers 516:1–40Google Scholar
  4. Barthel BL, Lutz-Carrillo DJ, Norberg KE, Porak WF, Tringali MD, Kassler TW, Philipp DP (2010) Genetic relationships among populations of Florida bass. T Am Fish Soc 139:1615–1641CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beamesderfer RC, North JA (1995) Growth, natural mortality, and predicted response to fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass populations in North America. N Am J Fish Manag 15:688–704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bernardo J (2014) Biologically grounded predictions of species resistance and resilience to climate change. P Natl Acad Sci USA 111:5450–5451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blewett DA, Stevens PW, Carter J (2017) Ecological effects of river flooding on abundance and body condition of a large, euryhaline fish. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 563:211–218Google Scholar
  8. Bonvechio KI, Catalano MJ, Sawyers RE, Crawford S (2009) Determining sample size for monitoring fish communities using electric fishing in three Florida lakes. Fish Manag Ecol 16:409–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boucek RE, Rehage JS (2014) Climate extremes drive changes in functional community structure. Glob Chang Biol 20:1821–1831CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Boucek RE, Heithaus MR, Santos R, Stevens P, Rehage JS (2017) Can animal habitat use patterns influence their vulnerability to extreme climate events? An estuarine sportfish case study. Glob Change Biol 00:1–13. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13761
  11. Bricker SB, Longstaff B, Dennison W, Jones A, Boicourt K, Wicks C, Woerner J (2008) Effects of nutrient enrichment in the nation's estuaries: a decade of change. Harmful Algae 8:21–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Britton JR, Harper DM, Oyugi DO, Grey J (2010) The introduced Micropterus salmoides in an equatorial lake: a paradoxical loser in an invasion meltdown scenario? Biol Invasions 12:3439–3448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Doney SC, Ruckelshaus M, Duffy EJ et al (2012) Climate change impacts on marine ecosystems. Annu Rev Mar Sci 4:11–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Downing JA, Plante C, Lalonde S (1990) Fish production correlated with primary productivity, not the morphoedaphic index. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 47(10):1929–1936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eaton JG, Scheller RM (1996) Effects of climate warming on fish thermal habitat in streams of the United States. Limnol Oceanogr 41(5):1109–1115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ficke AD, Myrick CA, Hansen LJ (2007) Potential impacts of global climate change on freshwater fisheries. Rev Fish Biol Fish 17(4):581–613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fields RS, Lowe S, Kaminski C, Whitt GS, Philipp DP (1987) Critical and chronic thermal maxima of northern and Florida largemouth bass and their reciprocal F1 and F2 hybrids. T Am Fish Soc 116:856–863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Folke C, Carpenter S, Walker B, Scheffer M, Elmqvist T, Gunderson L, Holling CS (2004) Regime shifts, resilience, and biodiversity in ecosystem management. Ann Rev Ecol Evol S 35:557–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gaiser EE, Trexler JC, Wetzel PR (2012) The Florida Everglades. In: Batzer DP, Baldwin AH (eds) Wetland habitats of North America: ecology and conservation concerns. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp 231–252Google Scholar
  20. Gandy DA, Rehage JS (2017) Examining gradients in ecosystem novelty: fish assemblage structure in an invaded Everglades canal system. Ecosphere 8(1):e01634. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.1634
  21. Gratwicke B, Marshall BE (2001) The relationship between the exotic predators Micropterus salmoides and Serranochromis robustus and native stream fishes in Zimbabwe. J Fish Biol 58:68–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Guest WC (1982) Survival of adult, Florida and northern largemouth bass subjected to cold temperature regimes. In P Ann Con SE Assoc Fish Wildl Agencies 36:332–339Google Scholar
  23. Holt RE, Jørgensen C (2015) Climate change in fish: effects of respiratory constraints on optimal life history and behaviour. Biol Lett. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.1032
  24. Hoyer MV, Jackson MW, Allen MS, Canfield DE (2008) Lack of exotic hydrilla infestation effects on plant, fish and aquatic bird community measures. Lake Reserv Manage 24(4):331–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kelble CR, Loomis DK, Lovelace S, Nuttle WK, Ortner PB, Fletcher P, Cook GS, Lorenz JJ, Boyer JN (2013) The EBM-DPSER conceptual model: integrating ecosystem services into the DPSIR framework. PLoS One 8:e70766CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. Kramer DL (1987) Dissolved oxygen and fish behavior. Environ Biol Fish 18:81–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Le Cren ED (1951) The length-weight relationship and seasonal cycle in gonad weight and condition in the perch (Perca fluviatilis). J Anim Ecol 20:201–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. MacEina MJ, Murphy BR (1992) Stocking Florida largemouth bass outside its native range. T Am Fish Soc 121:686–691CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Maceina MJ, Murphy BR, Isely JJ (1988) Factors regulating Florida largemouth bass stocking success and hybridization with northern largemouth bass in Aquilla Lake, Texas. T Am Fish Soc 117:221–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McCauley RW, Kilgour DM (1990) Effect of air temperature on growth of largemouth bass in North America. T Am Fish Soc 119:276–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McCauley DJ, Pinsky ML, Palumbi SR, Estes JA, Joyce FH, Warner RR (2015) Marine defaunation: animal loss in the global ocean. Science 347:1255641CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. McInerny MC, Cross TK (1999) Effects of lake productivity, climate warming, and intraspecific density on growth and growth patterns of black crappie in southern Minnesota lakes. J Freshw Ecol 14:255–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McInerny MC, Cross TK (2000) Effects of sampling time, intraspecific density, and environmental variables on electrofishing catch per effort of largemouth bass in Minnesota lakes. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 20(2):328–336Google Scholar
  34. Meka JM, McCormick SD (2005) Physiological response of wild rainbow trout to angling: impact of angling duration, fish size, body condition, and temperature. Fish Res 72:311–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Miranda LE, Hodges KB (2000) Role of aquatic vegetation coverage on hypoxia and sunfish abundance in bays of a eutrophic reservoir. Hydrobiologia 427:51–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Murphy BR, Willis DW (eds) (1996) Fisheries techniques, 2nd edn. Maryland, American Fisheries Society, BethesdaGoogle Scholar
  37. Murphy BR, Willis DW, Springer TA (1991) The relative weight index in fisheries management: status and needs. Fisheries 16:30–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Near TJ, Kassler TW, Koppelman JP, Dillman KB, Philipp DP (2003) Speciation in north American black basses Micropterus (Actinopterygii: Centrarchidae). Evolution 57:1610–1621CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Neilson RP (1995) A model for predicting continental scale vegetation distribution and water balance. Ecol Appl 5:362–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. North RP, North RL, Livingstone DM, Köster O, Kipfer R (2014) Long-term changes in hypoxia and soluble reactive phosphorus in the hypolimnion of a large temperate lake: consequences of a climate regime shift. Glob Chang Biol 20:811–823CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Peig J, Green AJ (2009) New perspectives for estimating body condition from mass/length data: the scaled mass index as an alternative method. Oikos 118:1883–1891CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Philipp DP, Childers WF, Whitt GS (1983) A biochemical genetic evaluation of the northern and Florida subspecies of largemouth bass. T Am Fish Soc 112:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pörtner H (2001) Climate change and temperature-dependent biogeography: oxygen limitation of thermal tolerance in animals. Nature 88:137–146Google Scholar
  44. Pörtner HO, Knust R (2007) Climate change affects marine fishes through the oxygen limitation of thermal tolerance. Science 315:95–97CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Rogers MW, Allen MS (2009) Exploring the generality of recruitment hypotheses for largemouth bass along a latitudinal gradient of Florida lakes. T Am Fish Soc 138:23–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rogers MW, Allen MS, Porak WF (2006) Separating genetic and environmental influences on temporal spawning distributions of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Can J Fish Aquat Sci 63:2391–2399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shoup DE, Callahan SP, Wahl DH, Pierce CL (2007) Size-specific growth of bluegill, largemouth bass and channel catfish in relation to prey availability and limnological variables. J Fish Biol 70:21–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Strobel A, Bennecke S, Leo E, Mintenbeck K, Pörtner HO, Mark FC (2012) Metabolic shifts in the Antarctic fish Notothenia rossii in response to rising temperature and PCO2. Front Zool 9:28CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  49. Sunday JM, Bates AE, Kearney MR, Colwell RK, Dulvy NK, Longino JT, Huey RB (2014) Thermal-safety margins and the necessity of thermoregulatory behavior across latitude and elevation. P Natl Acad Sci 111:5610–5615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tadonléké RD (2010) Evidence of warming effects on phytoplankton productivity rates and their dependence on eutrophication status. Limnology and Oceanography, 55(3):973–982Google Scholar
  51. Takamura K (2007) Performance as a fish predator of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede)) invading Japanese freshwaters: a review. Ecol Res 22:940–946CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tewksbury JJ, Huey RB, Deutsch CA (2008) Putting the heat on tropical animals. Science 320:1296–1297CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Weitere M, Vohmann A, Schulz N, Linn C, Dietrich D, Arndt H (2009) Linking environmental warming to the fitness of the invasive clam Corbicula fluminea. Glob Chang Biol 15:2838–2851CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ross Boucek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Barrientos
    • 2
  • Michael R. Bush
    • 3
  • David A. Gandy
    • 4
  • Kyle L. Wilson
    • 5
  • Joy M. Young
    • 6
  1. 1.Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Florida Keys InitiativeMarathonUSA
  2. 2.School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Program for Fisheries and Aquatic SciencesUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Apalachicola Bay Field LaboratoryEastpointUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  6. 6.Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation CommissionFish and Wildlife Research Institute, Tequesta Field LaboratoryTequestaUSA

Personalised recommendations