Bonefish and Tarpon Trust

Florida City, FL, United States

Bonefish and Tarpon Trust

Florida City, FL, United States
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Boucek R.,Bonefish and Tarpon Trust | Barrientos C.,University of Florida | Bush M.R.,Florida International University | Gandy D.A.,Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Biology of Fishes | Year: 2017

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. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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