On the causes and consequences of intraspecific phenotypic variation in aquatic ecosystems
Presenta: Jacob Brodersen
Department of Fish Ecology & Evolution, Eawag Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
Institute of Ecology & Evolution; University of Bern
An overarching goal of modern biology is to understand how individual phenotypic variation originates, how it is maintained and how it influences the surrounding ecosystem. Associated studies need a trans-disciplinary approach, integrating evolutionary biology with spatial-, trophic- and behavioral ecology. Although the theme is applicable across ecosystems and organisms, it is particularly well studied in freshwater fish, which further makes the research relevant for a multitude of applied topics in aquatic ecology.
Dr Brodersen is paying particular close attention to subjects regarding animal movement and migration. Migration can be seen as a behavioral trait, of which intra- and interpopulation variation is important for both evolution and ecosystem dynamics. It is clear that animal movement and migration plays a particular role in adaptive and non-adaptive speciation, as it both affects selection in one or multiple habitats and in itself controls gene flow and spatio-temporal isolation between populations. Interestingly, this intra- and interspecific variation in movement can be caused by both underlying genetic differences and environmental influence and behavioral canalization e.g. through social interactions. It is hence a subject that opens up for a large integration of ecology, ethology and evolution and further understanding of eco-evolutionary interactions.
In this talk Dr Brodersen will present his own research on the topic and he will end with explaining the relevance of this work in ecosystem management and conservation.
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