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Freshwater fish and climate change. Current situation and adaptation strategies

Concepts design and application

The reality of climate change is no longer an issue. According to the annual climate statement by the World Meteorological Organisation, 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth hottest year ever recorded worldwide, thus confirming the observed long-term warming trend. Temperatures were not unusual in continental France, however, a number of exceptional climatic events occurred such as the heavy snow and rain fall that led to flooding in the south-western section of France and the storms Christian and Dirk. As for 2014, it also confirmed the reality of climate change in that the month of May was the hottest ever since the start of records in 1880. Lakes, rivers and marshes cover only 0.01% of the surface of the planet. In spite of this very small surface area, they are home to a vast number of species representing 9% of all animal species identified to date. They are also highly vulnerable to climate change if only because it has a direct impact on the water cycle. In addition, a majority of aquatic species are cold-blooded, which makes them even more sensitive to even the slightest modifications in the temperature of their environment. Finally, the climatic disturbances are simply another of many pressures, including excessive captures, water pollution, invasive species, etc. Climate change, whether in the form of increased temperatures or modifications in hydrological regimes, is thus fully capable of significantly altering the functioning of ecosystems.

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  Front cover
  Foreword, abstract

Understanding the impact of climate change on water resources

Defining climate and the influential factors
Causes and consequences of climate disruption
Modelling tools to project changes in the climate and in water resources
The future climate and water resources in continental France
Conclusion and outlook


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Changes in fish communities in a context of climate change

General trends in observed impacts of climate change
Case studies in continental France
Conclusion and outlook


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Anticipating the impact of climate change on fish communities

Distribution models
Main changes expected for fish in France in response to climate change
Conclusion and outlook


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Taking action to reduce the vulnerability of fish communities

Adaptation strategies
A good start to water adaptation policy in continental France
Conclusion and outlook


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  Bibliography, main symbols and abbreviations
  Acknowledgements and covers


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  Nicolas POULET, AFB