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ARPN Journal of Science and Technology >> Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2017

ARPN Journal of Science and Technology

Ecological Responses of Freshwater Components to Climate Change Impacts: A Review

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Author Okorafor K.A
ISSN 2225-7217
On Pages 654-665
Volume No. 4
Issue No. 11
Issue Date December 01, 2014
Publishing Date December 01, 2014
Keywords Review, Ecological Responses, Climate Change Impact, Freshwater Components


The impacts of climate change in the ecosystems are quite alarming. Ecological responses to such changes have also been conspicuous from the level of species, communities and even up to the ecosystems. Several researches have shown that freshwater components are vulnerable to climate change impacts. Change in climate affects aquatic species at various trophic levels, the physical and chemical environment that make up their habitat and the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems. Climate change directly affects a range of physical, chemical and biological processes in the aquatic systems. The extent and magnitude of the ecological consequences of climate change in freshwater ecosystems depends largely on temperature and alterations in water chemistry such as Nutrient Levels, Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC), Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and Particulate Organic Matter Loading. Climate change is projected to cause significant alterations to aquatic biogeochemical processes, aquatic food web structure and dynamics, and biodiversity. This work reviews the responses of some freshwater components (biotic and a biotic components) to climate change impacts. Climate change has both direct and indirect consequences on the biota, structure and functions of freshwater ecosystems. Change in key physical and chemical parameters of freshwater can affect aquatic community and ecosystems attributes such as species richness, biodiversity range and distribution, and consequently alters corresponding food web structures and primary and secondary productivity levels. Climate change affects all life forms of freshwater ecosystems across the globe. The magnitude, extent, and duration of the impacts and responses are system- and location-dependent, and produce varying outcomes, including extinctions or species loss, genetic adaptations to new environments and alterations in species ranges and distributions. In view of the negative impacts climate change has on the ecosystems and the need to ameliorate such impacts, efforts aiming at or geared towards minimize anthropogenic activities leading to climate change would be desirable.

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