National-Scale Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Two Native Freshwater Fish Using a Habitat Suitability Model

Taeyong Shim, Zhonghyun Kim, Dongil Seo, Jinho Jung

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change, which has the potential to alter water flow and temperature in aquatic environments, can influence the freshwater fish habitat. This study used an ecological habitat suitability model (EHSM), which integrates hydraulic (water depth and velocity) and physiologic (water temperature) suitability, to investigate the impact of climate change on two native freshwater fish species (Zacco platypus and Nipponocypris koreanus) in South Korea. The model predicted that in 2080 (2076–2085), the decrease in average ecological habitat suitability (EHS) will be higher for N. koreanus (19.2%) than for Z. platypus (9.87%) under the representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5 scenario. Under the same condition, EHS for Z. platypus and N. koreanus at 36.5% and 44.4% of 115 sites, respectively, were expected to degrade significantly (p < 0.05). However, the habitat degradation for Z. platypus and N. koreanus was much lower (7.8% and 10.4%, respectively) under the RCP 4.5 scenario, suggesting a preventive measure for carbon dioxide emission. Partial correlation analysis indicated that the number of hot days (i.e., days on which the temperature exceeds the heat stress threshold) is the variable most significantly (p < 0.05) related to EHS changes for both species. This study suggests that the EHSM incorporating the effect of water temperature on the growth and heat stress of fish can be a promising model for the assessment of climate change impacts on habitat suitability for freshwater fish.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1825
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was supported by the Korea Environment Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) through the “Climate Change Correspondence Program” (grant number 201400130007) funded by the Korea Ministry of Environment, and by the National Research Foundation of Korea through the “Basic Science Research Program” (grant number NRF-2021R1I1A1A01060115) funded by the Ministry of Education.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • climate change
  • flow regime
  • freshwater fish
  • habitat suitability
  • heat stress
  • thermal regime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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