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Data and code – Effects of climate on salmonid productivity: A global meta-analysis across freshwater ecosystems

Cite this dataset

Gallagher, Brian; Geargeoura, Sarah; Fraser, Dylan (2022). Data and code – Effects of climate on salmonid productivity: A global meta-analysis across freshwater ecosystems [Dataset]. Dryad.


Salmonids are of immense socio-economic importance in much of the world but are threatened by climate change. This has generated a substantial literature documenting effects of climate variation on salmonid productivity in freshwater ecosystems, but there has been no global quantitative synthesis across studies. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to gain quantitative insight into key factors shaping the effects of climate on salmonid productivity, ultimately collecting 1,321 correlations from 156 studies, representing 23 species across 24 countries. Fisher’s Z was used as the standardized effect size, and a series of weighted mixed-effects models were compared to identify covariates that best explained variation in effects. Patterns in climate effects were complex, and were driven by spatial (latitude, elevation), temporal (time-period, age-class), and biological (range, habitat type, anadromy) variation within and among study populations. These trends were often consistent with predictions based on salmonid thermal tolerances. Namely, warming and decreased precipitation tended to reduce productivity when high temperatures challenged upper thermal limits, while opposite patterns were common when cold temperatures limited productivity. Overall, variable climate impacts on salmonids suggest that future declines in some locations may be counterbalanced by gains in others. In particular, we suggest that future warming should (1) increase salmonid productivity at high latitudes and elevations (especially >60° and >1,500m), (2) reduce productivity in populations experiencing hotter and dryer growing season conditions, (3) favor non-native over native salmonids, and (4) impact lentic populations less negatively than lotic ones. These patterns should help conservation and management organizations identify populations most vulnerable to climate change, which can then be prioritized for protective measures. Our framework enables broad inferences about future productivity that can inform decision-making under climate change for salmonids and other taxa, but more widespread, standardized, and hypothesis-driven research is needed to expand current knowledge.


See README document.

Usage notes

See README document and R code.


Groupe de Recherché Interuniversitaire en Limnologie, Award: PhD Fellowship

Fulbright Canada, Award: Student Award

Eco-Canada, Award: Magnet Student Work Placement Program

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Award: Discovery Grant

Concordia University, Award: Research Chair in Population Biodiversity and Conservation

Concordia University, Award: Graduate Doctoral Fellowship