Freshwater Biodiversity Equals Higher, More Consistent Fish Yields

By on March 8, 2016

Fish market at Stung Treng, Cambodia. (Credit: William Darwell)

Clearly, biodiversity is important for all ecosystems. But in freshwater systems including lakes, biodiversity appears to have big payoffs for us humans, according to a release from the University of Southampton.

Researchers at the university, comparing multiple data sets from the United Nations and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, have found that freshwater biodiversity pays dividends for people that depend on inland waterways for food. Namely, humans benefit from freshwater biodiversity in terms of yield.

Whenever a freshwater body holds more biodiversity, scientists say that the yields of fish are consistently higher than those of other water bodies. This finding came through in the data sets regardless of lake size, water temperature or surrounding precipitation patterns.

The data analysis also showed that more biodiversity also equaled more stable fisheries year over year. Researchers found that the countries with the strongest relationships between biodiversity and fishery strength were Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Vietnam and Thailand.

Top image: Fish market at Stung Treng, Cambodia. (Credit: William Darwell)

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