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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  3. Human-driven environmental change underlies recent changes in water clarity in many of the world’s great lakes, yet our understanding of the consequences of these changes on the fish and fisheries they support remains incomplete. Herein, we offer a framework to organize current knowledge, guide future research, and help fisheries managers understand how water clarity can affect their valued populations. Emphasizing Laurentian Great Lakes findings where possible, we describe how changing water clarity can directly affect fish populations and communities by altering exposure to ultraviolet radiation, foraging success, predation risk, reproductive behavior, or territoriality. We also discuss how changing water clarity can affect fisheries harvest and assessment through effects on fisher behavior and sampling efficiency (i.e., catchability). Finally, we discuss whether changing water clarity can affect understudied aspects of fishery performance, including economic and community benefits. We conclude by identifying generalized predictions and discuss their implications for priority research questions for the Laurentian Great Lakes. Even though the motivation for this work was regional, the breadth of the review and generality of the framework are readily transferable to other freshwater and marine habitats. 
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  6. Abstract Climate change is altering light regimes in lakes, which should impact disease outbreaks, since sunlight can harm aquatic pathogens. However, some bacterial endospores are resistant to damage from light, even surviving exposure to UV-C. We examined the sensitivity of Pasteuria ramosa endospores, an aquatic parasite infecting Daphnia zooplankton, to biologically relevant wavelengths of light. Laboratory exposure to increasing intensities of UV-B, UV-A, and visible light significantly decreased P. ramosa infectivity, though there was no effect of spore exposure on parasitic castration of infected hosts. P. ramosa is more sensitive than its Daphnia host to damage by longer wavelength UV-A and visible light; this may enable Daphnia to seek an optimal light environment in the water column, where both UV-B damage and parasitism are minimal. Studies of pathogen light sensitivity help us to uncover factors controlling epidemics in lakes, which is especially important given that water transparency is decreasing in many lakes. 
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  7. This assessment summarises the current state of knowledge on the interactive effects of ozone depletion and climate change on aquatic ecosystems, focusing on how these affect exposures to UV radiation in both inland and oceanic waters. The ways in which stratospheric ozone depletion is directly altering climate in the southern hemisphere and the consequent extensive effects on aquatic ecosystems are also addressed. The primary objective is to synthesise novel findings over the past four years in the context of the existing understanding of ecosystem response to UV radiation and the interactive effects of climate change. If it were not for the Montreal Protocol, stratospheric ozone depletion would have led to high levels of exposure to solar UV radiation with much stronger negative effects on all trophic levels in aquatic ecosystems than currently experienced in both inland and oceanic waters. This “world avoided” scenario that has curtailed ozone depletion, means that climate change and other environmental variables will play the primary role in regulating the exposure of aquatic organisms to solar UV radiation. Reductions in the thickness and duration of snow and ice cover are increasing the levels of exposure of aquatic organisms to UV radiation. Climate change was also expected to increase exposure by causing shallow mixed layers, but new data show deepening in some regions and shoaling in others. In contrast, climate-change related increases in heavy precipitation and melting of glaciers and permafrost are increasing the concentration and colour of UV-absorbing dissolved organic matter (DOM) and particulates. This is leading to the “browning” of many inland and coastal waters, with consequent loss of the valuable ecosystem service in which solar UV radiation disinfects surface waters of parasites and pathogens. Many organisms can reduce damage due to exposure to UV radiation through behavioural avoidance, photoprotection, and photoenzymatic repair, but meta-analyses continue to confirm negative effects of UV radiation across all trophic levels. Modeling studies estimating photoinhibition of primary production in parts of the Pacific Ocean have demonstrated that the UV radiation component of sunlight leads to a 20% decrease in estimates of primary productivity. Exposure to UV radiation can also lead to positive effects on some organisms by damaging less UV-tolerant predators, competitors, and pathogens. UV radiation also contributes to the formation of microplastic pollutants and interacts with artificial sunscreens and other pollutants with adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems. Exposure to UV-B radiation can decrease the toxicity of some pollutants such as methyl mercury (due to its role in demethylation) but increase the toxicity of other pollutants such as some pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Feeding on microplastics by zooplankton can lead to bioaccumulation in fish. Microplastics are found in up to 20% of fish marketed for human consumption, potentially threatening food security. Depletion of stratospheric ozone has altered climate in the southern hemisphere in ways that have increased oceanic productivity and consequently the growth, survival and reproduction of many sea birds and mammals. In contrast, warmer sea surface temperatures related to these climate shifts are also correlated with declines in both kelp beds in Tasmania and corals in Brazil. This assessment demonstrates that knowledge of the interactive effects of ozone depletion, UV radiation, and climate change factors on aquatic ecosystems has advanced considerably over the past four years and confirms the importance of considering synergies between environmental factors. 
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  9. Abstract Climate change and other anthropogenic stressors have led to long-term changes in the thermal structure, including surface temperatures, deepwater temperatures, and vertical thermal gradients, in many lakes around the world. Though many studies highlight warming of surface water temperatures in lakes worldwide, less is known about long-term trends in full vertical thermal structure and deepwater temperatures, which have been changing less consistently in both direction and magnitude. Here, we present a globally-expansive data set of summertime in-situ vertical temperature profiles from 153 lakes, with one time series beginning as early as 1894. We also compiled lake geographic, morphometric, and water quality variables that can influence vertical thermal structure through a variety of potential mechanisms in these lakes. These long-term time series of vertical temperature profiles and corresponding lake characteristics serve as valuable data to help understand changes and drivers of lake thermal structure in a time of rapid global and ecological change. 
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