Effects of Climate Change on the Habitat Suitability and Distribution of Endemic Freshwater Fish Species in Semi-Arid Central Anatolian Ecoregion in Türkiye

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KORKMAZ M., MANGIT F., Dumlupınar İ., Çolak M. A., Akpınar M. B., Koru M., ...More

Water (Switzerland), vol.15, no.8, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/w15081619
  • Journal Name: Water (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Compendex, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: endemic freshwater fish, habitat quality models, Maxent, species distribution modelling
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Climate change is affecting freshwater ecosystems globally, particularly those in semi-arid and arid regions. The Central Anatolian Ecoregion (CAE) in Türkiye has a semi-arid climate and is home to numerous endemic fish species. We used species distribution modelling to elucidate the distribution of sixteen endemic fish species in CAE and predicted their potential distributions for 2041–2060 and 2081–2100 based on the CMIP6 climate model. Half of the species are predicted to experience a significant loss of climatically suitable areas. Anatolichthys fontinalis, Gobio gymnostethus, Gobio hettitorum, and Pseudophoxinus burduricus will face a complete loss of suitable areas by 2081–2100 under a high emissions climate scenario, whereas Cobitis bilseli, Egirdira nigra, Gobio intermedius, and Squalius anatolicus will experience a significant loss. The other eight species can potentially benefit from climate warming if all other stressors remain equal. Anthropogenic stressors, such as water abstraction for irrigation, pollution, invasive species introductions, and dam construction, are already putting endemic fish populations in CAE under extreme pressure. Climate change is expected to exacerbate these threats. Regular monitoring of freshwater ecosystems and fish fauna in the CAE and protecting the region from key anthropogenic stressors are recommended to successfully conserve these endemic freshwater fishes under climate change.