(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.

Contact persons

Jens Krause

Head of Department
Research group
Mechanisms and Functions of Group-Living

Department members

Selected publications

May 2022
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. - 32(2022), 687–700

Recreational angling and spearfishing on social media: insights on harvesting patterns, social engagement and sentiments related to the distributional range shift of a marine invasive species

Valerio Sbragaglia; Lucía Espasandín; Salvatore Coco; Alberto Felici; Ricardo A. Correia; Marta Coll; Robert Arlinghaus

The authors compared ecological and social dimensions of recreational angling and spearfishing targeting the invasive bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) in Italy using digital videos and their associated data. The study showcases the value of exploring social media to understand the ecological and human dimensions of marine recreational fisheries in relation to distributional range shifts of species.

March 2022
The American Naturalist. - 199(2022)4, 480-495

Evolutionary impact of size-selective harvesting on shoaling behavior: individual-level mechanisms and possible consequences for natural and fishing mortality

Valerio Sbragaglia; Pascal P. Klamser; Pawel Romanczuk; Robert Arlinghaus

The authors present a multigeneration harvest selection experiment with zebrafish as a model to understand the effects of size-selective harvesting on shoaling behavior. Using high-resolution tracking of fish behavior with computational agent-based modeling, they show that shoal cohesion changed in the direction expected by a trade-off between individual vigilance and the use of social cues. 

March 2022
The American Naturalist. - 199(2022)3, 330-344

Predator group composition indirectly influences food web dynamics through predator growth rates

Kate L. Laskowski; Marta M. Alirangues Nuñez; Sabine Hilt; Mark O. Gessner; Thomas Mehner

The authors aimed to find empirical support for the theoretically predicted effect of intraspecific behavioral variation on food web dynamics and ecosystem function. In pond experiments, there was no effect of behavioral variation of predators on dynamics of lower trophic levels, but predator mass varied according to group composition, and hence was a strong predictor of food web effects.

February 2022
Science. - 375(2022)6582, eabg1780

Big-data approaches lead to an increasedunderstanding of the ecology of animal movement

Ran Nathan; Christopher T. Monk; Robert Arlinghaus; Timo Adam; Josep Alós; Michael Assaf; Henrik Baktoft; Christine E. Beardsworth; Michael G. Bertram; Allert I. Bijleveld; Tomas Brodin; Jill L. Brooks; Andrea Campos-Candela; Steven J. Cooke; Karl Ø. Gjelland; Pratik R. Gupte; Roi Harel; Gustav Hellström; Florian Jeltsch; Shaun S. Killen; Thomas Klefoth; Roland Langrock; Robert J. Lennox; Emmanuel Lourie; Joah R. Madden; Yotam Orchan; Ine S. Pauwels; MilanŘíha; Manuel Roeleke; Ulrike E. Schlägel; David Shohami; Johannes Signer; Sivan Toledo; OhadVilk; Samuel Westrelin; Mark A. Whiteside; Ivan Jarić

The authors present methods that combine high-resolution tracking technologies with Big Data analyses to investigate the movements of fish and other animals. Through high resolution tracking the effects of environmental and climate changes on wildlife can be better understood, and nature and wildlife conservation be advanced on this basis.

January 2022
Conservation Letters. - 14(2021)6, Art. e12835

Local disconnects in global discourses: the unintended consequences of marine mammal protection on small-scale fishers

Katrina J. Davis; Joanna Alfaro-Shigueto; William N.S. Arlidge; Michael Burton; Jeffrey C. Mangel; Morena Mills; E.J. Milner-Gulland; José Palma-Duque; Cristina Romero-de-Diego; Stefan Gelcich

Efforts to protect sea lions along South America's west coast have contributed to species recovery, but also to conflict between sea lions and small-scale fisheries. To understand the concerns, the authors assessed how 301 coastal small-scale fishers perceive their interactions with the sea lions. They propose solutions to manage conflict that are sensitive to heterogeneity among fisher groups.

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