Future Distribution of Arctic Char Salvelinus alpinus in Sweden under Climate Change: Effects of Temperature, Lake Size and Species Interactions
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Novel communities will be formed as species with a variety of dispersal abilities and environmental tolerances respond individually to climate change. Thus, models projecting future species distributions must account for species interactions and differential dispersal abilities. We developed a species distribution model for Arctic char Salvelinus alpinus, a freshwater fish that is sensitive both to warm temperatures and to species interactions. A logistic regression model using lake area, mean annual air temperature (1961–1990), pike Esox lucius and brown trout Salmo trutta occurrence correctly classified 95 % of 467 Swedish lakes. We predicted that Arctic char will lose 73 % of its range in Sweden by 2100. Predicted extinctions could be attributed both to simulated temperature increases and to projected pike invasions. The Swedish mountains will continue to provide refugia for Arctic char in the future and should be the focus of conservation efforts for this highly valued fish.
KeywordsClimate change Freshwater fish Species distribution models Species interactions Dispersal
This research was funded by FORMAS (#2007-1149).
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