Effects of climate and land-use changes on fish catches across lakes at a global scale

Yu Chun Kao, Mark W. Rogers, David B. Bunnell, Ian G. Cowx, Song S. Qian, Orlane Anneville, T. Douglas Beard, Alexander Brinker, J. Robert Britton, René Chura-Cruz, Natasha J. Gownaris, James R. Jackson, Külli Kangur, Jeppe Kolding, Anatoly A. Lukin, Abigail J. Lynch, Norman Mercado-Silva, Rodrigo Moncayo-Estrada, Friday J. Njaya, Ilia OstrovskyLars G. Rudstam, Alfred L.E. Sandström, Yuichi Sato, Humberto Siguayro-Mamani, Andy Thorpe, Paul A.M. van Zwieten, Pietro Volta, Yuyu Wang, András Weiperth, Olaf L.F. Weyl, Joelle D. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Globally, our knowledge on lake fisheries is still limited despite their importance to food security and livelihoods. Here we show that fish catches can respond either positively or negatively to climate and land-use changes, by analyzing time-series data (1970–2014) for 31 lakes across five continents. We find that effects of a climate or land-use driver (e.g., air temperature) on lake environment could be relatively consistent in directions, but consequential changes in a lake-environmental factor (e.g., water temperature) could result in either increases or decreases in fish catch in a given lake. A subsequent correlation analysis indicates that reductions in fish catch was less likely to occur in response to potential climate and land-use changes if a lake is located in a region with greater access to clean water. This finding suggests that adequate investments for water-quality protection and water-use efficiency can provide additional benefits to lake fisheries and food security.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2526
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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