Ongoing increases in air temperature and changing precipitation patterns are altering water temperatures and flow regimes in lotic freshwater systems, and these changes are expected to continue in the coming century. Freshwater taxa are responding to these changes at all levels of biological organization. The generation of appropriate hydrologic and water temperature projections is critical to accurately predict the impacts of climate change on freshwater systems in the coming decade. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of how changes in climate affect hydrologic processes and how climate-induced changes in freshwater habitat can impact the life histories and traits of individuals, and the distributions of freshwater populations and biodiversity. Projections of biological responses during the coming century will depend on accurately representing the spatially varying sensitivity of physical systems to changes in climate, as well as acknowledging the spatially varying sensitivity of freshwater taxa to changes in environmental conditions.


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