Effects of decreased freshwater ice cover duration on biodiversity
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EffectsIce cover is an important component of northern freshwater ecosystems, influencing many physical, chemical, and biological processes. The duration of freshwater ice cover has decreased by an average of almost two weeks over the last 150 years, with earlier break-ups and later freeze-ups. As the climate warms, longer open-water conditions will prevail. Depending on the type and location of a water body, decreases in the duration of lake ice can be expected to have a range of ecological impacts from increased productivity and increased habitat availability with less ice to changing distributions and reduced habitat availability for some cold-water species of fish.