Socioeconomic resilience to climatic extremes in a freshwater fishery

Science Advances
By: , and 



Heterogeneity is a central feature of ecosystem resilience, but how this translates to socioeconomic resilience depends on people’s ability to track shifting resources in space and time. Here, we quantify how climatic extremes have influenced how people (fishers) track economically valuable ecosystem services (fishing opportunities) across a range of spatial scales in rivers of the northern Rocky Mountains, USA, over the past three decades. Fishers opportunistically shifted from drought-sensitive to drought-resistant rivers during periods of low streamflows and warm temperatures. This adaptive behavior stabilized fishing pressure and expenditures by a factor of 2.6 at the scale of the regional fishery (i.e., portfolio effect). However, future warming is predicted to homogenize habitat options that enable adaptive behavior by fishers, putting ~30% of current spending at risk across the region. Maintaining a diverse portfolio of fishing opportunities that enable people to exploit shifting resources provides an important resilience mechanism for mitigating the socioeconomic impacts of climate change on fisheries.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Socioeconomic resilience to climatic extremes in a freshwater fishery
Series title Science Advances
DOI 10.1126/sciadv.abn1396
Volume 8
Issue 36
Year Published 2022
Language English
Publisher Science
Contributing office(s) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description eabn1396, 9 p.
Country United States
State Montana
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details