The relationship between autotrophic activity and freshwater fish populations is an important consideration for ecologists describing trophic structure in aquatic communities, fisheries managers tasked with increasing sustainable fisheries development, and fish farmers seeking to maximize production. Previous studies of the empirical relationships of autotrophic activity and freshwater fish yield have found positive relationships but were limited by small sample sizes, small geographic scopes, and the inability to compare patterns among many types of measurement techniques. Individual studies and reviews have also lacked consistent consideration of regional climate factors which may inform relationships between fisheries and autotrophic activity. We compiled data from over 700 freshwater systems worldwide and used meta-analysis and linear models to develop a comprehensive global synthesis between multiple metrics of autotrophic activity, fisheries, and climate indicators. Our results demonstrate that multiple metrics of fish (i.e., catch per unit effort, yield, and production) increase with autotrophic activity across a variety of fisheries. At the global scale additional variation in this positive relationship can be ascribed to regional climate differences (i.e., temperature and precipitation) across systems. Our results provide a method and proof-of-concept for assessing inland fisheries production at the global scale, where current estimates are highly uncertain, and may therefore inform the continued sustainable use of global inland fishery resources.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||A review of the global relationship among freshwater fish, autotrophic activity, and regional climate|
|Series title||Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries|
|Contributing office(s)||Great Lakes Science Center|
|Online Only (Y/N)||N|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|