Project: Biodiversity scenarios for fragmented landscapes; freshwater connectivity and the future of fish diversity

Since ancient times, freshwater ecosystems have provided human society with numerous essential ecosystem goods and services. However, their diverse and increasing use has also resulted in multiple anthropogenic impacts that threaten the functioning of these ecosystems. For example flood protection by levees had cut off most of the historic floodplains and caused significant drop in freshwater fisheries productivity. Freshwaters host ~10% of the world’s fauna and one third of all vertebrates, while covering only 0.8% of the earth’s surface. Today more than one third of Europe’s freshwater fish fauna are classified as threatened by extinction. FISHCON will investigate the interplay between management and future biodiversity scenarios using freshwater fishes as study organisms. The project’s main objectives are to build models for freshwater fishes used in European environmental legislation (EU Water Framework Directive) and to explicitly link present-day management of habitat connectivity to future biodiversity scenarios. While past studies have evaluated suitable future habitats for fishes at the catchment scale, the researchers will combine detailed lake and stream data sets across Germany, Sweden and Norway, hence spanning a latitudinal gradient from 48 to 71 °N. FISHCON will predict future fish distributions both at large scale across Europe, and at small scales covering specific catchments that are relevant for local management.

Acronym FISHCON
Duration 01/12/2012 - 31/08/2015
Website visit project website
Network BiodivERsA2
Call BiodivERsA Call 2011-2012 on Biodiversity dynamics

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Umeå University Sweden
Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. Germany
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research Coordinator Norway