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Environmental Science Seminar Series – TRU Newsroom

Environmental Science Seminar Series

Thursday, November 5, 4–5 p.m.

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Title: Patterns and predictors of native, non-native and at-risk freshwater fish richness in watersheds across Canada

Speaker: Dr. Anas Mohamed, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toronto

Abstract: An improved understanding of the processes underlying the biodiversity patterns is crucial in the face of global environmental changes. We quantified the relative roles of environmental, historical and anthropogenic factors in influencing species richness of native, non-native and at-risk freshwater fish in 985 watersheds across Canada, while accounting for correlations among predictors and spatial autocorrelation. Despite moderate spatial congruence among native, non-native, and at-risk species richness across Canada, underlying processes were likely different. Both environmental factors related to energy availability and/or physiological thresholds, and historical factors related to post-glacial recolonization, may have played important roles in shaping spatial variation in native richness. Contrary, variation in non-native species richness is largely influenced by human pressures increasing the propagule pressure and habitat disturbance. Both anthropogenic threatening processes and environmental conditions predisposing species to rarity are important determinants at-risk species richness. Our findings emphasize the importance of supplementing species/site-specific conservation strategies with landscape-scale strategies to preserve freshwater fish biodiversity.

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