Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Mississippi
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Miranda, L.E. 2023. Aging, climate, and invasions threaten reservoirs in the Mississippi Basin. Fisheries 48:499-514.


Reservoirs in the Mississippi Basin are facing three momentous threats. The first two, aging and climate change, are relatively slow-moving and their signal can be hard to discern given their stretched temporal scales. The third, species invasions, is faster-paced and discernable within shorter temporal scales and restricted spatial scales. Aging and climate directly impact reservoir environments and indirectly their biotic communities. Climate change is expected to interact with aging to speed up and, in some instances, slow down aging. Conversely, invasions primarily imperil biotic communities but can also impact environmental elements. This triple jeopardy is expected to transform reservoir environs and their biotic assemblages in various, often uncertain, ways. I take a broad view of these threats within the Mississippi Basin. A basin-scale perspective, in contrast to a single reservoir or regional scale, may enhance awareness of reservoirs at a larger level and produce understanding less evident at local levels, hence possibly offering a wider range of choices for confronting threats. My aim was to (1) provide a synopsis of the assemblage of reservoirs and their attributes over the Mississippi Basin, (2) describe the issues related to aging, climate change, and invasions, and (3) consider a conservation framework suitable for confronting these pressures. Given the overlapping temporal, spatial, and ecological effects of these threats, it is essential to address their effects simultaneously.