Skip to main content

Impacts of Global Change on Biotic Resistance, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services in Caribbean Fish Assemblages, Fisheries, and Aquatic Ecosystems

A NCCWSC Directed Funding 2017 Project
Principal Investigator
Thomas Kwak


Start Date
End Date
Release Date


Extreme events not only affect people but can have detrimental impacts on natural resources, such as fish and freshwater habitats. Impacts of extreme events, like hurricanes, tornadoes, and extreme flooding, have immediate consequences, but also have the ability to alter habitats and animals far in the future by providing opportunities for exotic species to colonize new areas. Some fish communities in streams, rivers, and lakes may have the natural ability to resist the long-term impacts of extreme weather events. In this project, researchers will investigate the ability of Caribbean fish assemblages in Puerto Rico, which have both economic and cultural importance, to resist the impacts of extreme weather events. This information would [...]

Child Items (3)


Principal Investigator :
Thomas Kwak, Abigail J Lynch
Funding Agency :
Cooperator/Partner :
Bonnie J Myers
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program

Project Extension

typeTechnical Summary
valueEcological disturbance and its impacts on organisms and ecosystems is a longstanding concept in ecology. Understanding and planning for the effects of disturbances, such as extreme weather events, on natural resources may help managers respond to the impacts of extreme events more effectively. The diversity of freshwater fish species in Puerto Rico may provide natural biotic resistance and resilience to colonization by nonnative species following disturbances; however this has not yet been studied in Caribbean island freshwater ecosystems. Puerto Rico provides an ideal study location to test this hypothesis in Caribbean fish assemblages and apply the results to other similar closed freshwater island systems. We propose to determine changes in stream and river fish assemblages over time at multiple temporal scales (e.g., seasonal, annual, decadal), examine fish assemblages and fisheries dynamics in relation to biotic resistance from exotic species invasions while relating changes to landscape (e.g., dams and reservoirs) and climate influences, project changes in fish assemblages and their ecosystem services in the future, and determine the impacts on the community and stakeholders. Through regular communication, written reports, peer-reviewed publications, and other tailored communication products, we will transfer our results to regional stakeholders to help guide strategic planning efforts. Climate change is predicted to increase the number of extreme events globally, and having a clearer understanding of the impacts of such events on natural resources will help managers develop efficient adaptation strategies and allocate resources appropriately. This work will be a collaboration among the North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, North Carolina State University, USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources
projectStatusIn Progress

Budget Extension

typeAward Type


Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS


  • National CASC
  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers



Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC faa4a20d-d743-4616-ba64-481b754f0ec8

Item Actions

View Item as ...

Save Item as ...

View Item...