Freshwater biology @ qub
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Freshwater Biology @ QUB. Chris Harrod School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University of Belfast [email protected] www.fsbi.org.uk/2010. School of Biological Sciences: outline. Organised into 2 separate research clusters:

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Freshwater biology @ qub

Freshwater Biology @ QUB

Chris Harrod

School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University of Belfast

[email protected]


Freshwater biology qub

www.fsbi.org.uk/2010


School of biological sciences outline

School of Biological Sciences: outline

Organised into 2 separate research clusters:

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behaviour and Environmental Economics

  • Molecular Biosciences

    • Microbial ecology & functional biology

    • Identification, characterisation and function of aquatic toxins

    • Parasitology


Freshwater research in eebee

Freshwater research in EEBEE

  • 8 academics & > 15 postgraduate research students active in freshwater biology across Ireland, the UK, Europe and further afield

  • Broad scale

    • Molecule to ecosystem

    • Many different taxa (animal bias)


E cology e volution b ehaviour e nvironmental e conomics

Ecology, Evolution, Behaviour & Environmental Economics

  • Ecology

    • Invasion ecology

    • Autecology

    • Limnology

    • Ecosystem function

    • Conservation

    • Fisheries management

      • Scientific support to Lough Neagh eel fishery

    • Environmental impact assessment

    • Theoretical biology

    • Taxonomy

    • Water quality

  • Evolution

    • Phylogeography

    • Speciation & rapid evolution

    • Population genetics

    • Conservation genetics

      • Margaritiferamargaritifera

      • Pollan

      • Arctic charr

      • Brown trout

    • Life history specialisation in invasive species

    • Divergent migratory components

      • Eels

      • Trout

      • Lampreys


E cology e volution b ehaviour e nvironmental e conomics1

Ecology, Evolution, Behaviour & Environmental Economics

  • Behaviour

    • Individual specialisation

    • Interactions between native & invasive species

      • Functional response curves

    • Telemetry

      • Acoustic & radio

      • GPS

      • Depth & accelerometer

    • Foraging ecology of piscivorous predators

  • Environmental Economics

    • Economic valuation of environmental and natural resources.

      • Willingness to pay for ferox trout conservation


Undergraduate aquatic ecology research

Undergraduate aquatic ecology research


Current activities

Current activities


Support for lough neagh fishery

Support for Lough Neagh fishery:

  • Few fisheries-independent data available for management and conservation

    • 122 random purse seine samples distributed across the main bed of the lough

    • Species abundance per haul

    • Individual length (± 1 mm)

  • First quantitative estimates to include eels since the ban on trawling (1980s)


Lough neagh fish community

Lough Neagh: fish community

Abundance

Biomass


River lamprey lampetra fluviatilis in lough neagh

River lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis) in Lough Neagh

  • Evidence of freshwater feeding

    • Scarring of resident fishes, e.g. pollan

  • Relative impact of parasitism on different prey?

  • Evidence for anadromous v freshwater feeding?


Evidence for freshwater foraging

Evidence for freshwater foraging

Inger et al 2010 J App Ecol 47: 121-129


Freshwater biology qub

Inger et al 2010 J App Ecol 47: 121-129


Isotopic variation in lough neagh

Isotopic variation in Lough Neagh

Freshwater


Isotopic variation in lough neagh strangford lough

Isotopic variation in Lough Neagh & Strangford Lough

Marine

Freshwater


Cormorants energetic conduits between aquatic habitats

Cormorants: energetic conduits between aquatic habitats

Marine

Freshwater


Relative importance of freshwater v marine feeding in breeding cormorants

Relative importance of freshwater v marine feeding in breeding cormorants

  • Bird Island breeding colony

  • Subset forage on L. Neagh (70 km)

    • Why?

  • Freshwater provisioned chicks have greater condition factors

R2=0.44, P=0.01

Brown et al, in prep.


Invasive species

Invasive species


Invasive aquatic species in irish water bodies

Invasive Aquatic Species in Irish water bodies

  • Funded through EPA STRIVE

  • Collaboration with National Biodiversity Data Centre, & Central Fisheries Board

  • QUB leading on WP2: Invasive species impacts on community structure and function

    • Lagarosiphon major in Lough Corrib

    • Leuciscus cephalus in the River Inny


Lough corrib and lagarosiphon major

Lough Corrib and Lagarosiphon major

  • Kevin Gallagher (PhD student) [email protected]

  • Paul McIlwaine (Mphil student) [email protected]


Marked habitat shift

Marked habitat shift…

Pre-invasion

Post-invasion


Growth rates differ in fish captured in invaded and native habitats

Growth rates differ in fish captured in invaded and native habitats

Mean ± 95% CI back-calculated length at age


Hemimysis anomala another ponto caspian invader

Hemimysis anomala (another Ponto-Caspian invader)

5 mm

Kevin Gallagher

([email protected] )

Collaboration: Dan Minchin & CFB


The current distribution and status of hemimysis in ireland

The current distribution and status of Hemimysis in Ireland

  • Lough Ree: found at 4 sites (north, south, east and west of the lough).

    • considered widespread.

  • Also present in

    • Lough Key

    • Lough Boderg (Dr Dan Minchin)

  • no evidence of Hemimysis in Loughs Allen, Scur, Garadice, upper / lower Lough Erne or Lough Neagh.

  • Future work

    • More study sites

    • Examine relative abundance at invaded sites.

    • Public awareness campaign


Hemimysis examining feeding behaviour

Hemimysis – examining feeding behaviour

  • Small bodied invasive Hemimysis anomala, killed and consumed x7 more juvenile Gammarus pulex than the larger-bodied native Mysis relicta, in one third of the time.

Hemimysis – 12 hours

Mysis – 40 hours


Freshwater biology qub

Invasive freshwater plants in Ireland:Distribution, spread and physiological responses to climate change

Ruth Kelly (PhD student)

[email protected]


Evolutionary ecology of the three spined stickleback in ireland

Evolutionary ecology of the three spined stickleback in Ireland

  • Important (and undervalued) ecological role

  • Key model for evolution of new species

  • Almost unstudied in Ireland

  • Mark Ravinet (PhD student) [email protected]


Stickleback phylogeography

Stickleback phylogeography

  • Mixture of lineages present in Ireland – and perhaps some uniquely Irish?

Green = Irish populations


Stickleback phylogeography1

Stickleback phylogeography

  • Mixture of lineages present in Ireland – and perhaps some uniquely Irish?

Green = Irish populations

Barents Sea/North Eastern European

Trans-Atlantic

Irish/Western European


Funding bodies

Funding bodies

Fisheries Society of

the British Isles


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