(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

Werner Kloas

Guest Scientist
Research group
Aquaponics and Ecophysiology

Department members

Selected publications

June 2024
Nature Communications. - 15(2024), Art. 4781

A candidate sex determination locus in amphibians which evolved by structural variation between X- and Y-chromosomes

Heiner Kuhl; Wen Hui Tan; Christophe Klopp; Wibke Kleiner; Baturalp Koyun; Mitica Ciorpac; Romain Feron; Martin Knytl; Werner Kloas; Manfred Schartl; Christoph Winkler; Matthias Stöck

The authors have identified a gene locus responsible for sex determination in the European green toad. This reveals only the second known genetic mechanism for sex differentiation in amphibians.

May 2024
Nature Ecology & Evolution. - 8(2024), 1098-1108

Inland navigation and land use interact to impact European freshwater biodiversity

Aaron N. Sexton, Jean-Nicolas Beisel, Cybill Staentzel, Christian Wolter, Evelyne Tales, Jérôme Belliard, Anthonie D. Buijse, Vanesa Martínez Fernández, Karl M. Wantzen, Sonja C. Jähnig, Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber, Peter Haase, Marie Anne Eurie Forio, Gait Archambaud, Jean-François Fruget, Alain Dohet, Vesela Evtimova, Zoltán Csabai, Mathieu Floury, Peter Goethals, Gábor Várbiró, Miguel Cañedo-Argüelles, Aitor Larrañaga, Anthony Maire, Ralf B. Schäfer, James S. Sinclair, Rudy Vannevel, Ellen A. R. Welti & Alienor Jeliazkov

Using a comprehensive set of long-term data, the authors show that shipping has contributed to a significant loss of biodiversity of fish and macroinvertebrates in European rivers in recent decades – and that the animal communities are becoming increasingly homogeneous and river-typical species are being lost. Invasive species, on the other hand, are significantly increasing. 

May 2024
Nature Food. - 5(2024), 433-443

Inland recreational fisheries contribute nutritional benefits and economic value but are vulnerable to climate change

Abigail J. Lynch; Holly S. Embke; Elizabeth A. Nyboer; Louisa E. Wood; Andy Thorpe; Sui C. Phang; Daniel F. Viana; Christopher D. Golden; Marco Milardi; Robert Arlinghaus; Claudio Baigun; T. Douglas Beard Jr.; Steven J. Cooke; Ian G. Cowx; John D. Koehn; Roman Lyach; Warren Potts; Ashley M. Robertson; Josef Schmidhuber; Olaf L. F. Weyl

The research team estimates that recreational fishing in lakes and rivers accounts for more than 11 per cent of the annually reported catches in inland fisheries worldwide. The analyzed total consumption value of harvested fish is around 10 billion US dollars per year. Due to climate change and direct human impacts on freshwater ecosystems, the productivity of important fish species is declining.

Methods in Ecology and Evolution
October 2023
Methods in Ecology and Evolution. - 14(2023)10, S. 2514-2530

Positioning aquatic animals with acoustic transmitters

Robert J. Lennox; Kim Aarestrup; Josep Alós; Robert Arlinghaus; Eneko Aspillaga; Michael G. Bertram; Kim Birnie-Gauvin; Tomas Brodin; Steven J. Cooke; Lotte S. Dahlmo; Félicie Dhellemmes; Karl Ø. Gjelland; Gustav Hellström; Henry Hershey; Christopher Holbrook; Thomas Klefoth; Susan Lowerre-Barbieri; Christopher T. Monk; Cecilie Iden Nilsen; Ine Pauwels; Renanel Pickholtz; Marie Prchalová; Jan Reubens; Milan Říha; David Villegas-Ríos; Knut Wiik Vollset; Samuel Westrelin; Henrik Baktoft

The paper offers an introduction to novel methods of high-resolution positional telemetry that provide guidance to practioners. It presents a summary of all techniques for fine-scale positioning of the movements of fish.

June 2023
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. - 120(2023)13, Art. e2217386120

To save sturgeons, we need river channels around hydropower dams

Liang Zhanga; Haijun Wanga; Jörn Gessner; Leonardo Congiub; Tim J. Haxton; Erik Jeppesen; Jens-Christian Svenning; Ping Xie

Weirs and other transverse structures in rivers not only impede migratory fish on their way to spawning grounds, but even if they are able to pass, many of them die in the turbines of hydroelectric power plants. The authors present a recommendation on how to facilitate effective passage and even promote sturgeon with bypass channels at dams that can serve as additional habitat.

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