An assessment of the potential impacts of climate change on the freshwater habitats of Indiana, U.S.A.


Climate-driven, physico-chemical changes documented in aquatic systems throughout the world are expected to intensify in the future. Resulting conditions will undoubtedly both directly and indirectly impact freshwater organisms, with anticipated impacts varying across ecosystems. Here, we review potential effects and management considerations related to climatic changes and freshwater habitats within the Indiana, U.S.A. Indiana contains diverse ecoregions and water features in the state drain ultimately to Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, or the Mississippi River. Given this heterogeneity and that the state is roughly bisected by the 40th northern parallel, evaluation of freshwater habitats of Indiana provides a unique perspective on potential impacts of climate change. In our study, we review expected or anticipated changes to physico-chemical conditions in lakes, streams, rivers, and wetlands. We describe the difficulty of making precise predictions of freshwater biota responses to climate change and instead, highlight some general system-specific anticipated responses to climate change. Finally, we describe some considerations for managing freshwater ecosystems in a changing climate.


freshwater ecosystems, lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands, mussels, fish, invertebrates

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This article is currently under review. For additional information or questions, please contact Melissa Widhalm at mwidhalm@purdue.edu.

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