(Dept. 4) Fish Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture
In the Department of Fish Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture we seek to understand the ecological and evolutionary processes that structure populations and communities of freshwater fishes and affect their functions and ecological services. An important part of our work focuses on interactions between natural and anthropogenic factors and their effects on evolution, reproduction, stress, development, growth, behaviour, productivity and recreational quality of fish. Our goal is to create the scientific foundations for the conservation of wild fish populations and for sustainable fisheries management and aquaculture. The methodological approaches include hypothesis-driven laboratory research, mesocosm experimentation, lake manipulation, comparative field studies and theoretical modelling.
Massive expansion of sex-specific SNPs, transposon-related elements, and neocentromere formation shape the young W-chromosome from the mosquitofish Gambusia affinis
The mosquitofish Gambusia affinis, globally introduced to fight mosquitos, is a threat for freshwater ecosystems and a model for sex chromosome evolution. Cyto-/genomics reveals aneocentromere to shield parts of its evolutionary young female sex chromosome (W) that actively differentiates by expansion of transcribed transposons, while major sequence divergence or gene decay are missing.
Multispecies collective waving behaviour in fish
Groups composed of more than one species offer a unique opportunity to look into the evolution of both mechanistic and functional aspects of collective behavior. The study presents data on mixed-species fish shoals that perform collective dives. The dampening effect of less responsive gambusia on molly diving behavior can have strong evolutionary consequences on the overall collective behavior.
Ecosystem-based management outperforms species-focused stocking for enhancing fish populations
In a large-scale effort, a research team in cooperation with angling clubs, has conducted whole-lake experiments in 20 lakes to improve ecological conditions. Habitat improvements were the most effective means to enhance fish populations, whereas fish stocking completely failed. The study emphasizes the importance of restoring habitats and improving natural ecosystem processes.
Leveraging big data to uncover the eco-evolutionary factors shaping behavioural development
In this review, the authors provide a guide to state-of-the-art approaches that allow the collection and analysis of high-resolution behavioural data across development. They outline how such approaches can be used to address key issues regarding the ecological and evolutionary factors shaping behavioural development.
Trophic Transfer Efficiency in Lakes
The authors explored how spatial and temporal variability of lake food webs and their links to the terrestrial environment affect trophic transfer efficiency (TTE). They suggest that TTE can be estimated as mechanistic expression of energy flow between consumer and producer pairs, or as ecosystem efficiency comparing total sums of heterotrophic production rates with fixation rates of carbon.