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

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


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 Ostrovsky

Lars 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


© 2020, The Author(s). 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.


Kao, Y. C., Rogers, M. W., Bunnell, D. B., Cowx, I. G., Qian, S. S., Anneville, O., …Young, J. D. (2020). Effects of climate and land-use changes on fish catches across lakes at a global scale. Nature communications, 11(1), Article 2526.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 20, 2020
Online Publication Date May 20, 2020
Publication Date Dec 1, 2020
Deposit Date Feb 8, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 8, 2021
Journal Nature Communications
Electronic ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Article Number 2526
Keywords Climate-change ecology; Ecological modelling; Ecosystem ecology; Ecosystem services; Freshwater ecology
Public URL
Publisher URL


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Copyright Statement
© The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

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