Declining fish health continues to illustrate the repercussions of climate change. Heightened temperatures and drought do more than merely reduce the water available for fish habitat; they increase water’s carbon dioxide and acidification. Real-time water monitoring is critical to the future of fish species stressed by climate change.
Droughts’ Effect on Fish
Increased temperatures and reduced snowpack result in lower water flow, leaving fish with smaller habitats. In the worst cases, where streams have dried up, fish are threatened by having nowhere to live. When habitats are reduced, a new set of issues arise.
Competition is increased when fish have less available water to inhabit. Warmer temperatures and decreased water levels cause a higher risk for poor water quality. Although in summer months, it is common for pH levels to rise and oxygen levels to fall, drawn-out warm seasons threaten the ecosystem for longer periods of time.
What Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Mean for Fish
Climate change continues to threaten marine life, as the waters in which fish live become more and more acidic. Recently, the journal Nature Climate Change, published findings on the threats posed by ocean acidification – primarily how it impacts fish. The study revealed elevated CO2 levels alter marine fishes’ responses to sensory cues.
In fact, the study shows that heightened CO2 levels can have numerous deleterious effects on fish, including a loss of hearing, which makes them more susceptible to predators. Carbon dioxide may also be impacting the nervous system of fish, changing the way that information is relayed to their brains. These CO2 effects could affect the overall fish population, depending on how quickly different species can adapt to their changing environments.
The Importance of Monitoring Water Quality
As we continue to battle against poor water conditions, monitoring becomes more important than ever. Learn about Aquasend’s real time DO and temperature monitoring systems. Contact us today to get a quote!