Browsing by Subject "FISH"

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  • Webster, Mike M.; Chouinard-Thuly, Laura; Herczeg, Gabor; Kitano, Jun; Riley, Riva; Rogers, Sean; Shapiro, Michael D.; Shikano, Takahito; Laland, Kevin N. (2019)
    Whether learning primarily reflects general processes or species-specific challenges is a long-standing matter of dispute. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of public information use (PI-use) in sticklebacks (Gasterosteidae). PI-use is a form of social learning by which animals are able to assess the relative quality of resources, here prey patches, by observing the behaviour of others. PI-use was highly specific with only Pungitius and their closest relative Culaea inconstans showing evidence of PI-use. We saw no effects of ontogenetic experience upon PI-use in Pungitius pungitius. Experiments with live demonstrators and animated fish revealed that heightened activity and feeding strikes by foraging conspecifics are important cues in the transmission of PI. Finally, PI-use was the only form of learning in which P. pungitius and another stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus differed. PI-use in sticklebacks is species-specific and may represent an 'ecological specialization' for social foraging. Whether this reflects selection on perception, attentional or cognitive processes remains to be determined.
  • Schrandt, Meagan N.; Stone, Laura C.; Klimek, Brian; Makelin, Saara; Heck, Kenneth L.; Mattila, Johanna; Herlevi, Heidi (2016)
    In the Baltic Sea, species diversity is relatively low and the introduction of new predator species can have large direct and indirect impacts on native species - both prey and potential competitors. The alien round goby Neogobius melanostomus Pallas, 1811 was introduced to the Baltic Sea in the early 1990s and is now well-established. We examined the feeding habits of male round gobies from the Aland Islands, Finland, where round gobies were first recorded in 2011. Specifically, we tested whether small round gobies (
  • Tverin, Malin; Granroth, Janne; Abrahamsson, Alexander; Tang, Patrik Anthony; Pihlström, Henry; Lundström, Karl; Käkelä, Reijo (2021)
    Increased numbers of great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) in the Baltic Sea may have local impacts on fisheries and salmonid hatcheries. We studied spatial and temporal variability in cormorant diet, and potential consumption of hatchery salmonids, by analysing knee subcutaneous adipose tissue fatty acids (FA) of specimens (N = 77) collected along Swedish and Finnish coasts in different seasons during 2013–2017. The FA profiles of the subspecies sinensis and carbo were similar, with large individual variation. The proportion of C18 polyunsaturated FAs (PUFAs) was the largest in the north, whereas the proportion of C20–22 monounsaturated FAs (MUFAs) increased towards the south, reflecting diminishing freshwater and increasing marine food web characteristics towards the south. As an exception, the C20–22 MUFA percentage was high in sinensis collected in June 2017 from the northern Baltic Sea. The source of C20–22 MUFAs was probably hatchery salmonids, raised on ocean fish hatchery feed and released 10 days before, near the cormorant capture site. The FA profiles of northern and southern cormorants differed from each other both in early and late summer samples, suggesting spatially different diets. The largest individual variation was found in 22:1n-11, characteristic of ocean zooplanktivorous fish, and likely originating from Atlantic wild or Baltic Sea hatchery-reared fish. This study shows that adipose tissue FA profiles can be used as proxies for seabird diet monitoring and indicators of predation on hatchery-reared fish. Obtaining quantitative estimates on the proportions of dietary fish species requires future feeding experiments, allowing calibration between the FA compositions and diet.
  • Pihlajamäki, Mia-Elina; Helle, Inari; Haapasaari, Päivi; Sarkki, Simo; Kuikka, Sakari; Lehikoinen, Annukka (2020)
    Fisheries management aims to ensure that the fishing activities are environmentally sustainable in the long term, while also achieving the economic, social and food security related management objectives. To facilitate this, both the ecological and human dimensions of sustainability need to be included in fisheries assessment. In addition, assessing long-term sustainability calls for taking into account plausible changes in the surrounding societal conditions that shape the characteristics of the fisheries governance system, as well as the ecological conditions. The paper uses a combination of qualitative exploratory scenario storylines (ESS) and Bayesian belief networks (BBN) to integrate the environmental, economic, social and food security dimensions in an interdisciplinary assessment of the future sustainability of Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras, Clupeidae) and salmon (Salmo salar, Salmonidae) fisheries. First, four alternative ESS were created based on plausible changes in societal drivers. The ESS were then formulated into a BBN to (a) visualize the assumed causalities, and (b) examine quantitatively how changes in the societal drivers affect the social-ecological fisheries system and ultimately the fisheries management objectives. This type of probabilistic scenario synthesis can help in thinking qualitative scenarios in a quantitative way. Moreover, it can increase understanding on the causal links between societal driving forces and the complex fisheries system and on how the management objectives can be achieved, thereby providing valuable information for strategic decision-making under uncertainty.
  • Vuorinen, Pekka J.; Rokka, Mervi; Ritvanen, Tiina; Käkelä, Reijo; Nikonen, Soili; Pakarinen, Tapani; Keinänen, Marja (2020)
    Salmonines in the Baltic Sea and North American lakes suffer from thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, which is connected to an abundant lipid-rich diet containing substantial amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). In the Baltic region, this is known as the M74 syndrome. It affects both adult salmon (Salmo salar) and especially their offspring, impairing recruitment. However, very little is known about the thiamine and lipid metabolism of salmon during feeding and spawning migrations in the Baltic Sea. In this study, salmon females were sampled along the spawning run from the southern Baltic Proper in four locations at sea and finally at spawning in a river at the Bothnian Bay in a year with insignificant M74 mortality. Changes in concentrations of thiamine and its components in muscle, ovaries, and the liver and other biochemical indices potentially relating to lipid and fatty acid metabolism were investigated. The results provide further evidence of the role of peroxidation of PUFAs in eliciting thiamine deficiency in salmon: During the entire spawning run, the muscle total lipid content decreased by 50%, palmitic acid (16:0) by 62%, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) by 45%. The concentration of total thiamine decreased significantly until the spawning in the liver and ovaries, 66 and 70% respectively. In the muscle, the proportion of thiamine pyrophosphate of total thiamine increased with the use of muscular lipid stores. There was no trend in the concentration of total carotenoids during the spawning run. The doubling of the concentration of hepatic malondialdehyde indicated peroxidation of PUFAs, and the mobilisation of body lipids suppressed the activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, as consumed dietary lipids would also have done.
  • Holma, Maija; Lindroos, Marko; Romakkaniemi, Atso; Oinonen, Soile (2019)
  • Peltomaa, Elina; Hällfors, Heidi; Taipale, Sami J. (2019)
    Recent studies have clearly shown the importance of omega-3 (-3) and omega-6 (-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for human and animal health. The long-chain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6-3) are especially recognized for their nutritional value, and ability to alleviate many diseases in humans. So far, fish oil has been the main human source of EPA and DHA, but alternative sources are needed to satisfy the growing need for them. Therefore, we compared a fatty acid profile and content of 10 diatoms and seven dinoflagellates originating from marine, brackish and freshwater habitats. These two phytoplankton groups were chosen since they are excellent producers of EPA and DHA in aquatic food webs. Multivariate analysis revealed that, whereas the phytoplankton group (46%) explained most of the differences in the fatty acid profiles, habitat (31%) together with phytoplankton group (24%) explained differences in the fatty acid contents. In both diatoms and dinoflagellates, the total fatty acid concentrations and the -3 and -6 PUFAs were markedly higher in freshwater than in brackish or marine strains. Our results show that, even though the fatty acid profiles are genetically ordered, the fatty acid contents may vary greatly by habitat and affect the -3 and -6 availability in food webs.
  • Kumar, Ashwini; Adhikari, Sadiksha; Kankainen, Matti; Heckman, Caroline A. (2021)
    Simple Summary The wide variety of next-generation sequencing technologies requires thorough evaluation and understanding of their advantages and shortcomings of these different approaches prior to their implementation in a precision medicine setting. Here, we compared the performance of two DNA sequencing methods, whole-exome and linked-read exome sequencing, to detect large structural variants (SVs) and short variants in eight multiple myeloma (MM) patient cases. For three patient cases, matched tumor-normal samples were sequenced with both methods to compare somatic SVs and short variants. The methods' clinical relevance was also evaluated, and their sensitivity and specificity to detect MM-specific cytogenetic alterations and other short variants were measured. Thus, this study systematically demonstrates and evaluates the performance of whole-exome and linked-read exome sequencing technologies for detecting genetic alterations to aid in selecting the optimal method for clinical application. Linked-read sequencing was developed to aid the detection of large structural variants (SVs) from short-read sequencing efforts. We performed a systematic evaluation to determine if linked-read exome sequencing provides more comprehensive and clinically relevant information than whole-exome sequencing (WES) when applied to the same set of multiple myeloma patient samples. We report that linked-read sequencing detected a higher number of SVs (n = 18,455) than WES (n = 4065). However, linked-read predictions were dominated by inversions (92.4%), leading to poor detection of other types of SVs. In contrast, WES detected 56.3% deletions, 32.6% insertions, 6.7% translocations, 3.3% duplications and 1.2% inversions. Surprisingly, the quantitative performance assessment suggested a higher performance for WES (AUC = 0.791) compared to linked-read sequencing (AUC = 0.766) for detecting clinically validated cytogenetic alterations. We also found that linked-read sequencing detected more short variants (n = 704) compared to WES (n = 109). WES detected somatic mutations in all MM-related genes while linked-read sequencing failed to detect certain mutations. The comparison of somatic mutations detected using linked-read, WES and RNA-seq revealed that WES and RNA-seq detected more mutations than linked-read sequencing. These data indicate that WES outperforms and is more efficient than linked-read sequencing for detecting clinically relevant SVs and MM-specific short variants.
  • Butler, Don H.; Koivisto, Satu Mirjami; Brumfeld, Vlad; Shahack-Gross, Ruth (2019)
    Salmonid resources currently foster socioeconomic prosperity in several nations, yet their importance to many ancient circumpolar societies is poorly understood due to insufficient fish bone preservation at archaeological sites. As a result, there are serious gaps in our knowledge concerning the antiquity of northern salmonid fisheries and their impacts on shaping biodiversity, hunter-gatherer adaptations, and human-ecological networks. The interdisciplinary study presented here demonstrates that calcium-magnesium phosphate minerals formed in burned salmonid bones can preserve at ancient northern sites, thus informing on the early utilization of these resources despite the absence of morphologically classifiable bones. The minerals whitlockite and beta magnesium tricalcium phosphate were identified in rare morphologically classifiable Atlantic salmonid bones from three Mid-Holocene sites in Finland. Large amounts of beta magnesium tricalcium phosphate were also experimentally formed by burning modern Atlantic salmonid and brown trout bones. Our results demonstrate the value of these minerals as proxies for ancient northern salmonid fishing. Specifically, the whitlockite mineral was discovered in hearth sediments from the 5,600 year old Yli-Ii Kierikinkangas site on the Iijoki River in northern Finland. Our fine sieving and mineralogical analyses of these sediments, along with zooarchaeological identification of recovered bone fragments, have confirmed for the first time that the people living at this village did incorporate salmonids into their economies, thus providing new evidence for early estuary/riverine fisheries in northern Finland.
  • Kozak, Natalia; Ahonen, Salla A.; Keva, Ossi; ostbye, Kjartan; Taipale, Sami J.; Hayden, Brian; Kahilainen, Kimmo K. (2021)
    Subarctic lakes are getting warmer and more productive due to the joint effects of climate change and intensive land-use practices (e.g. forest clear-cutting and peatland ditching), processes that potentially increase leaching of peat- and soil-stored mercury into lake ecosystems. We sampled biotic communities from primary producers (algae) to top consumers (piscivorous fish), in 19 subarctic lakes situated on a latitudinal (69.0-66.5 degrees N), climatic (+3.2 degrees C temperature and +30% precipitation from north to south) and catchment land-use (pristine to intensive forestry areas) gradient. We first tested how the joint effects of climate and productivity influence mercury biomagnification in food webs focusing on the trophic magnification slope (TMS) and mercury baseline (THg baseline) level, both derived from linear regression between total mercury (log10THg) and organism trophic level (TL). We examined a suite of environmental and biotic variables thought to explain THg baseline and TMS with stepwise generalized multiple regression models. Finally, we assessed how climate and lake productivity affect the THg content of top predators in subarctic lakes. We found biomagnification of mercury in all studied lakes, but with variable TMS and THg baseline values. In stepwise multiple regression models, TMS was best explained by negative relationships with food chain length, climate-productivity gradient, catchment properties, and elemental C:N ratio of the top predator (full model R2 = 0.90, p < 0.001). The model examining variation in THg baseline values included the same variables with positive relationships (R2 = 0.69, p = 0.014). Mass standardized THg content of a common top predator (1 kg northern pike, Esox lucius) increased towards warmer and more productive lakes. Results indicate that increasing eutrophication via forestry-related land-use activities increase the THg levels at the base of the food web and in top predators, suggesting that the sources of nutrients and mercury should be considered in future bioaccumulation and biomagnification studies. (c) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://
  • Toli, Elisavet A.; Noreikiene, Kristina; De Faveri, Jacquelin; Merila, Juha (2017)
    Evidence for phenotypic plasticity in brain size and the size of different brain parts is widespread, but experimental investigations into this effect remain scarce and are usually conducted using individuals from a single population. As the costs and benefits of plasticity may differ among populations, the extent of brain plasticity may also differ from one population to another. In a common garden experiment conducted with three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) originating from four different populations, we investigated whether environmental enrichment (aquaria provided with structural complexity) caused an increase in the brain size or size of different brain parts compared to controls (bare aquaria). We found no evidence for a positive effect of environmental enrichment on brain size or size of different brain parts in either of the sexes in any of the populations. However, in all populations, males had larger brains than females, and the degree of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in relative brain size ranged from 5.1 to 11.6% across the populations. Evidence was also found for genetically based differences in relative brain size among populations, as well as for plasticity in the size of different brain parts, as evidenced by consistent size differences among replicate blocks that differed in their temperature.
  • Flink, Henrik; Nordahl, Oscar; Hall, Marcus; Rarysson, Anton; Bergstrom, Kristofer; Larsson, Per; Petersson, Erik; Merila, Juha; Tibblin, Petter (2021)
    The practice within recreational fisheries to release captured fish back to the wild, known as catch-and-release (C&R), is an increasingly important strategy to protect fish stocks from overexploitation. However, C&R is a stressor and since animal reproduction is particularly sensitive to stress there is reason to suspect that such a practice induces sublethal fitness consequences. Here, we investigated whether and how C&R fishing influenced the reproductive potential in an anadromous population of Northern pike (Esox lucius). First, female pike were exposed to authentic C&R using rod-and-reel fishing in a coastal foraging habitat prior to the spawning period. Next, we observed the migration to the freshwater spawning habitat and compared both the timing of arrival and maturity stage between C&R-treated and control individuals. Finally, to evaluate effects on the quality and viability of eggs we stripped captured control and recaptured C&R-treated females, measured egg dry mass to assess nutrient content, conducted artificial fertilisations and incubated eggs in a controlled laboratory experiment. We found no evidence of C&R causing alterations in either arrival time, maturity stage, or the quality and viability of fertilised eggs. In combination, our results suggest that long-term effects of C&R-induced stress on key reproductive traits of pike, if any, are minor.
  • Jarić, Ivan; Roll, Uri; Arlinghaus, Robert; Belmaker, Jonathan; Chen, Yan; China, Victor; Douda, Karel; Essl, Franz; Jähnig, Sonja C.; Jeschke, Jonathan M.; Kalinkat, Gregor; Kalous, Lukáš; Ladle, Richard; Lennox, Robert J.; Rosa, Rui; Sbragaglia, Valerio; Sherren, Kate; Šmejkal, Marek; Soriano-Redondo, Andrea; Souza, Allan T.; Wolter, Christian; Correia, Ricardo A. (2020)
    The ongoing digital revolution in the age of big data is opening new research opportunities. Culturomics and iEcology, two emerging research areas based on the analysis of online data resources, can provide novel scientific insights and inform conservation and management efforts. To date, culturomics and iEcology have been applied primarily in the terrestrial realm. Here, we advocate for expanding such applications to the aquatic realm by providing a brief overview of these new approaches and outlining key areas in which culturomics and iEcology are likely to have the highest impact, including the management of protected areas; fisheries; flagship species identification; detection and distribution of threatened, rare, and alien species; assessment of ecosystem status and anthropogenic impacts; and social impact assessment. When deployed in the right context with awareness of potential biases, culturomics and iEcology are ripe for rapid development as low-cost research approaches based on data available from digital sources, with increasingly diverse applications for aquatic ecosystems.
  • Herczeg, Gabor; Gonda, Maria Abigel; Balazs, Gergely; Noreikiene, Kristina; Merila, Juha (2015)
    Background: Plasticity in brain size and the size of different brain regions during early ontogeny is known from many vertebrate taxa, but less is known about plasticity in the brains of adults. In contrast to mammals and birds, most parts of a fish's brain continue to undergo neurogenesis throughout adulthood, making lifelong plasticity in brain size possible. We tested whether maturing adult three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) reared in a stimulus-poor environment exhibited brain plasticity in response to environmental enrichment, and whether these responses were sex-specific, thus altering the degree of sexual size dimorphism in the brain. Results: Relative sizes of total brain and bulbus olfactorius showed sex-specific responses to treatment: males developed larger brains but smaller bulbi olfactorii than females in the enriched treatment. Hence, the degree of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) in relative brain size and the relative size of the bulbus olfactorius was found to be environment-dependent. Furthermore, the enriched treatment induced development of smaller tecta optica in both sexes. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that adult fish can alter the size of their brain (or brain regions) in response to environmental stimuli, and these responses can be sex-specific. Hence, the degree of SSD in brain size can be environment-dependent, and our results hint at the possibility of a large plastic component to SSD in stickleback brains. Apart from contributing to our understanding of the processes shaping and explaining variation in brain size and the size of different brain regions in the wild, the results show that provision of structural complexity in captive environments can influence brain development. Assuming that the observed plasticity influences fish behaviour, these findings may also have relevance for fish stocking, both for economical and conservational purposes.
  • Keinanen, Marja; Kakela, Reijo; Ritvanen, Tiina; Myllyla, Timo; Ponni, Jukka; Vuorinen, Pekka J. (2017)
    Sprat (Sprattus sprattus) and small herring (Clupea harengus) are the dominant prey fish of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in the Baltic Sea. If the fatty acid (FA) proportions of sprat and herring differ, the dietary history of ascending salmon could be determined from their FA profiles. Therefore, we investigated the FA composition of several age groups of whole sprat and small herring, caught from the three main feeding areas of salmon in autumn and spring. Oleic acid (18: 1n-9) was the most prevalent FA in sprat and characteristic of this species. In herring, palmitic acid (16: 0) was the most common FA, but herring lipid was characterized by n-6 polyunsaturated FAs, and moreover, by palmitoleic acid (16: 1n-7) and vaccenic acid (18: 1n-7). Due to the higher lipid content of sprat, the concentrations of all other FAs, excluding these, were higher in sprat than in herring. The concentration of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22: 6n-3) increased with an increase in the lipid content and was consequently highest in the youngest specimens, being in young sprat almost double that of young herring, and 2.6 times higher in the sprat biomass than in that of herring. As a result of a decrease in the DHA concentration with age, the ratio thiamine/DHA increased with respect to age in both species, and was lower in sprat than in herring. It is concluded that an abundance of DHA in the diet of salmon most likely increases oxidative stress because of the susceptibility of DHA to peroxidation, and thus decreases thiamine resources of fasting, prespawning salmon. Because the FA composition of sprat and herring differs, and the relative abundancies of prey fish differ between the feeding areas of salmon, the feeding area of ascending salmon can most probably be derived by comparing their FA profiles.
  • Salonen, Nina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Follikulaarinen kystiitti on koirilla harvinainen virtsarakon muutos, joka on kuvailtu aikaisemmin kirjallisuudessa puuttellisesti. Tapauskertomuksia follikulaarisesta kystiitistä koirilla on vain kaksi, joista toinen on kirjoitettu 1940 ja toinen vuonna 2014. Tutkielman kirjallisuuskatsauksessa on tavoitteena koota tietoa follikulaarisesta kystiitistä koirilla ja ihmisillä. Tutkielman tutkimusosion tavoitteena oli kuvailla follikulaarisen kystiitin kliininen kuva sekä laboratorio- ja kuvantamislöydökset koirilla, joilla on todettu follikulaarinen kystiitti virtsarakon kudosnäytteessä Yliopistollisessa eläinsairaalassa ennen vuotta 2020. Lisäksi pyrkimyksenä oli selvittää kudoksensisäisten Esterichia coli -bakteereiden esiintymistä fluoresenssi in situ hybridisaatio (FISH) menetelmän avulla koirilla, joilla on todettu follikulaarinen kystiitti. Koirien potilastiedoista taulukoitiin jokaisen yksilön rotu, sukupuoli, ikä, kliiniset oireet, saadut antibioottikuurit, histopatologiset löydökset, veri- ja virtsanäytetulokset, diagnostisen kuvantamisen löydökset sekä kystostomiset tai kystoskopiset löydökset ennen diagnoosia. Tutkimusta varten löydettiin tiedot seitsemästä koirasta, joilla on todettu follikulaarinen kystiitti vuosina 2015-2019. Hypoteesina on, että kudoksensisäisiä E. coli bakteereita esiintyy koirilla, joilla on todettu follikulaarisen kystiitin muutokset. Kaikki tutkimuksen koirat olivat narttuja, joista kolme oli intakteja ja loput steriloituja. Koirat edustivat viittä eri rotua ja yksi koirista oli sekarotuinen. Tutkimuksen koirat olivat iältään 8 kuukautta – 10 vuotta. Kaikilla paitsi yhdellä koiralla oli sairashistoriassa toistuvia bakteeriperäisiä rakkotulehduksia ennen lisätutkimuksiin hakeutumista. Kaikilla, paitsi yhdellä koiralla oli aiemmin todettu E. colin aiheuttama infektio virtsaviljelyssä vähintään kerran. Kaikkia koiria oli hoidettu aikaisemmin antimikrobisilla lääkkeillä. FISH -tutkimuksessa viidellä seitsemästä koirasta infektion aiheuttajaksi todettiin E. coli. Kahdella koiralla, joilla FISH-tutkimus oli negatiivinen seinämänsisäisen E. colin suhteen, oli positiivinen tulos E. colin suhteen joko virtsaviljelyssä tai virtsarakon koepalan kudosviljelyssä. Löydökset puoltavat seinämänsisäisen E. coli -infektion osallisuutta follikulaarisen kystiitin synnyssä. Tutkimuksen perusteella follikulaariselle kystiitille tyypilliset seinämämuutokset ovat hyvänlaatuisia ja liittyvät kroonisiin toistuviin infektioihin. Tutkimuksen tärkeimmät rajoitteet olivat kontrolliryhmän puute ja pieni potilasmäärä.
  • Bauer, Barbara; Gustafsson, Bo; Hyytiäinen, Kari; Meier, Markus; Muller-Karulis, Bärber; Saraiva, Sofia; Tomczak, Maciej (2019)
    We developed numerical simulations of potential future ecological states of the Baltic Sea ecosystem at the end of century under five scenarios. We used a spatial food web (Ecospace) model, forced by a physical-biogeochemical model. The scenarios are built on consistent storylines that describe plausible developments of climatic and socioeconomic factors in the Baltic Sea region. Modelled species diversity and fish catches are driven by climate- and nutrient load-related changes in habitat quality and by fisheries management strategies. Our results suggest that a scenario including low greenhouse gas concentrations and nutrient pollution and ecologically focused fisheries management results in high biodiversity and catch value. On the other hand, scenarios envisioning increasing societal inequality or economic growth based on fossil fuels, high greenhouse gas emissions and high nutrient loads result in decreased habitat quality and diminished biodiversity. Under the latter scenarios catches are high but they predominantly consist of lower-valued fish.
  • Hayden, B.; Harrod, C.; Thomas, S. M.; Eloranta, A. P.; Myllykangas, J.-P.; Siwertsson, A.; Praebel, K.; Knudsen, R.; Amundsen, P-A; Kahilainen, K. K. (2019)
    Climate change and the intensification of land use practices are causing widespread eutrophication of subarctic lakes. The implications of this rapid change for lake ecosystem function remain poorly understood. To assess how freshwater communities respond to such profound changes in their habitat and resource availability, we conducted a space-for-time analysis of food-web structure in 30 lakes situated across a temperature-productivity gradient equivalent to the predicted future climate of subarctic Europe (temperature +3 degrees C, precipitation +30% and nutrient +45 mu g L-1 total phosphorus). Along this gradient, we observed an increase in the assimilation of pelagic-derived carbon from 25 to 75% throughout primary, secondary and tertiary consumers. This shift was overwhelmingly driven by the consumption of pelagic detritus by benthic primary consumers and was not accompanied by increased pelagic foraging by higher trophic level consumers. Our data also revealed a convergence of the carbon isotope ratios of pelagic and benthic food web endmembers in the warmest, most productive lakes indicating that the incorporation of terrestrial derived carbon into aquatic food webs increases as land use intensifies. These results, reflecting changes along a gradient characteristic of the predicted future environment throughout the subarctic, indicate that climate and land use driven eutrophication and browning are radically altering the function and fuelling of aquatic food webs in this biome.
  • Henriksson, Eva; Candolin, Ulrika (2020)
    The operation of sexual selection depends on ecological conditions. Thus, changes in environmental conditions because of human activities can alter the strength and direction of sexual selection, with implications for evolutionary trajectories and the viability of populations. We show that aquatic algal blooms can relax the operation of sexual selection by influencing which males are available to attract females. This is by influencing the ability of males to maintain a resource needed in mate attraction. When we exposed two competing threespine stickleback malesGasterosteus aculeatus, whose attractiveness to females was known, to either clear or algal-turbid water, nest abandonment was more common in clear water, and it was usually the unattractive male that abandoned his nest. In turbid water, on the other hand, nest abandonments were less common and when they occurred, the probability increased that the attractive male abandoned his nest, and that the unattractive male subsequently occupied it. This change in the composition of nesting males increased the mating success of unattractive males. Thus, our results reveal a new mechanism through which habitat deterioration can influence sexual selection, by altering success in the competition for a resource critical in mate attraction, a territory with a nest in this case. This could be a common mechanism, considering the prevalence of resource competition in mate choice systems. On a broader level, our results emphasise the importance of considering the impact of environmental changes on the outcome of resource competition when investigating the influence that environmental disturbances have on the operation of sexual selection and thereby on evolutionary processes and population dynamics.
  • Haapasaari, Paivi; Ignatius, Suvi; Pihlajamaki, Mia; Sarkki, Simo; Tuomisto, Jouni; Delaney, Alyne (2019)
    This article focuses on the dioxin problem of Baltic herring and salmon fisheries and its governance that is based on natural scientific knowledge. The dioxin problem weakens the perceived quality of Baltic salmon and herring as food and affects the way the catches can be used. This influences negatively the fishing livelihood, the coastal culture, and the availability of the fish for consumers. We explored how the governance of the dioxin problem could be improved, to better address its socio-economic and cultural implications. We identified four main actions: (1) adopt environmental, economic and social sustainability, and food security and safety as shared principles between the environmental, food safety/public health, and fisheries policies, (2) establish collaboration between the environmental, public health, and fisheries sectors at the regional level, (3) enhance interaction around the dioxin problem within the fisheries sector, and (4) support the participation of the Baltic fisheries stakeholders in the EU-level food safety governance. Viewing dioxins in fish not only as a natural scientific problem but as a multidimensional one would enable a wider toolbox of governing instruments to be developed to better address the different dimensions. This would support steps towards collaborative governance and a food system approach.