Oneida Lake: Long-term Dynamics of a Managed Ecosystem and Its Fishery
Chapter 24: Concluding Remarks: Forecasting the Future of Oneida Lake and Its Fishery in an Era of Climate Change and Biological Invasions
Lars G. Rudstam, James R. Jackson, and Amy L. Hetherington
Scientists are increasingly asked to do ecological forecasting, a task that requires us to understand the mechanisms involved in the interactions between physics and biology, in the interactions among species, and in the interactions among land use, human behavior, and drivers of management actions. Clearly, ecological forecasting spans many disciplines. Further complicating ecological forecasting are the continuous changes in the main actors driving systems as new species invade and priorities for human use evolve. In this concluding chapter, we will indulge in more speculation than typical for a scientific paper. With 60 years of data, we will attempt to forecast the future of Oneida Lake and its fishery with special attention to climate change and likely future invaders. Although the predictions are specific to Oneida Lake, the approach and some of the predictions are likely relevant to other lakes as well.