Effects of Climate Change on the Habitat Suitability and Distribution of Endemic Freshwater Fish Species in Semi-Arid Central Anatolian Ecoregion in Türkiye

Mustafa Korkmaz*, Fatih Mangıt, İlayda Dumlupınar, Mehmet Arda Çolak, Mustafa Berkay Akpınar, Meltem Koru, Juan Pablo Pacheco, Arely Ramírez-García, Gültekin Yılmaz, Cihelio Alves Amorim, İbrahim Kaan Özgencil, Deniz İnnal, Sedat Vahdet Yerli, Korhan Özkan, Zuhal Akyürek, Meryem Beklioğlu, Erik Jeppesen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Climate change is affecting freshwater ecosystems globally, particularly those in semi-arid and arid regions. The Central Anatolian Ecoregion (CAE) in Türkiye has a semi-arid climate and is home to numerous endemic fish species. We used species distribution modelling to elucidate the distribution of sixteen endemic fish species in CAE and predicted their potential distributions for 2041–2060 and 2081–2100 based on the CMIP6 climate model. Half of the species are predicted to experience a significant loss of climatically suitable areas. Anatolichthys fontinalis, Gobio gymnostethus, Gobio hettitorum, and Pseudophoxinus burduricus will face a complete loss of suitable areas by 2081–2100 under a high emissions climate scenario, whereas Cobitis bilseli, Egirdira nigra, Gobio intermedius, and Squalius anatolicus will experience a significant loss. The other eight species can potentially benefit from climate warming if all other stressors remain equal. Anthropogenic stressors, such as water abstraction for irrigation, pollution, invasive species introductions, and dam construction, are already putting endemic fish populations in CAE under extreme pressure. Climate change is expected to exacerbate these threats. Regular monitoring of freshwater ecosystems and fish fauna in the CAE and protecting the region from key anthropogenic stressors are recommended to successfully conserve these endemic freshwater fishes under climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1619
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume15
Issue8
ISSN2073-4441
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • endemic freshwater fish
  • habitat quality models
  • Maxent
  • species distribution modelling

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