Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
Home | Intranet | Digital Measures | Help

Characterization of spatial and temporal variability in fishes in response to climate change


September 2012 - August 2017


Predicting population responses to climate change requires an understanding of how population dynamics vary over space and time. Although variability has historically been viewed as an impediment to understanding population responses to ecological changes, it can provide an important signal, rather than just being viewed as noise. In this project, we will build upon recently completed analyses of fish population data in the Great Lakes basin to help predict how spatial and temporal variation in fish populations may respond to climate change and other important drivers. We suggest that shifting variance structure can be indicative of population-level responses to climate change. Our proposed research will help elucidate the extent to which quantifiable responses in spatial and temporal variability occur in different forms of fish population data.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Wagner, T., S.R. Midway, T. Vidal, B.J. Irwin, and J.R. Jackson. 2016. Detecting unusual temporal patterns in fisheries time series data. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 145:786-794. Abstract |  Download  | 
  • Vidal, T. E., B. J. Irwin, T. Wagner, L. G. Rudstam, J. R. Jackson, and J. R. Bence. 2017. Using Variance Structure to Quantify Responses to Perturbation in Fish Catches. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 146:584-593. [Featured Article] Abstract | 
  • Irwin, B., T Wagner, and J. R. Bence. 2018. Characterization of Spatial and Temporal Variability in Fishes in Response to Climate Change. Project completion report [extended abstract], Northeast Climate Science Center.


  • Vidal, T. 2017. Understanding the role of variability in fish population and community response to changing environmental conditions, PhD Dissertation, University of Georgia.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 670

Scientific Publications: 1897

Presentations: 4193



Funding Agencies

  • Northeast Climate Science Center


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey