Out of the bottleneck: Bighead Carp spawning and overwinter survival in a warming climate
Erik K. Dean, D. Andrew R. Drake, Nicholas E. Mandrak
23 February 2023
Bighead Carp threatens to invade the Laurentian Great Lakes,
but there is uncertainty about whether winter conditions
encountered during northward expansion
could impose a population bottleneck.
a critical life stage,
are especially vulnerable to starvation due to their reduced size
and capacity to store energy,
and are often implicated in population bottlenecks at northern latitudes.
By modelling how climate warming could affect spawn timing,
and the onset
and duration of winter,
we explored how the recruitment
and overwinter survival of young-of-year Bighead Carp could change in response to climate change.
Projected warming trends could reduce overwinter starvation
and provide young-of-year more opportunity for growth prior to the onset of winter.
Given that young-of-year are highly influential to population performance,
increases in temperature that help them overcome overwinter starvation could contribute significantly to changes in the overall risk of invasion.