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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]

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
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)
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

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 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
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

slide26
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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