Kristine Bonnevies hus
Summer often means it is field season for biologists, and time to get your hands dirty! Here I will give my view of what it is like to be on board of a research vessel in the North Sea, participating in a scientific survey of the fish and invertebrates living on the sea floor.
The extensive spawning migration of Northeast Arctic cod was suggested to be counterbalanced by increased early-offspring survival, however we find in a study published in July in Marine Ecology Progress Series, that early offspring growth should be considered as another factor explaining this long-distance migration.
Why do organisms have different shapes? The morphology of species is not random, but the result of a long process of evolution and adaptations to the species’ environment and behaviours. Fish show a large diversity in shapes (e.g. flat fish, eel-like, torpedo-shaped), but how to measure such a diversity? In other words, how to compare objectively the shapes of fish found across an ecological gradient? Those are the questions that Caillon and coauthors tried to answer in a study recently published in Ecosphere (DOI 10.1002/ecs2.2220).
Many heavily fished fish stocks are dominated by young and small fish. The reason is simple: the chance to reach old age is small. If the fisheries selectively target large fish, the dominance of young and small fish becomes even larger. Such skewed age and size distributions can make the fish populations more sensitive to detrimental effects of oil spills.
Information for MARmaED ESRs
Spawning migration is a prevalent phenomenon for the major fish stocks in the Barents Sea. While many of them migrate to the coast of Norway to spawn they are doing so to different areas. We have studied the Northeast Arctic haddock variability in spawning grounds to understand what drives the observed shifts over time.
Derivatives, Integrals, Optimal Control Theory, Calculus… as an ecologist (and in particular an empirical ecologist) these terms can be frightening. However, we need to face our fears to take a step towards interdisciplinarity!
Fishing is one of the most physically  and economically  risky activities one can engage in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States, fishing and related activities has the second highest rate of workplace fatalities (logging is ranked first) . Today however, we will exclusively focus on the economic risks fishers and their communities face and how fish themselves are a unique natural resource.
The festivities of Saint Valentine´s day are upon us, and this coincides with the arrival of the Northeast Arctic cod to the shores of mainland Norway for spawning, a fish close to the heart of Norwegians. This fish is also known as Barents Sea cod, or in Old Norse skreið, modern Norwegian skrei. Skrei might be one of the earliest recognised subtypes of cod, but not until the 20th and 21st Century have researchers been able to start pinpointing exactly how it is different from other local cod, with the aid of modern sequencing technology.
Using the posters that were presented by some of the students at the MARmaED Mid-Term Meeting with the European Commission, we have created a "mini exhibition" in the corridor of the Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis at the University of Oslo.
In a study recently published in Ecology we find apparent competition between major zooplankton groups in a large marine ecosystem. Apparent competition is an indirect, negative interaction between two species or species groups mediated by a third species other than their prey.
In my last post, I explained why resolution matters in food webs. However, I never properly introduced what is a food web and how to build them.
An interesting article published recently by young researchers from the successful NorMER network:
Please find below an announcement from our ESR Camilla Sguotti in Hamburg:
Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) is an iconic fish species world-wide. How did such a fish become THE FISH? And, in the future, will we still be able to have cod on our table as Christmas delicacy?
Understanding the spatio-temporal dynamics of biotic communities (i.e. knowing when and where different species are) is crucial for the management and conservation of ecosystems. We promote the use of an advanced statistical method, called ‘tensor decomposition’, to reveal the spatio-temporal dynamics of species assemblages using the multidimensionality of collected data set (see study by Frelat et al. 2017).
The concept of ecosystem-based management (EBM) has become popular for marine research and management in recent years. While there is no commonly accepted definition of EBM, “holistic” is one of the common descriptions for such approach. Why do we need a holistic approach? Let us take salmon as an example. Imagine you are a salmon that was born in a river of a Northern Baltic country. What kind of life would that be?
Authors are now invited to submit an abstract of their presentation (oral or poster) for ISEC2018. Submission deadline is Monday 15th January 2018.
The 4th International Symposium on the Effects of Climate Change on the World's Oceans, June 4-8, 2018, Washington D.C.
Marine systems are characterised as highly complex, being subject to multiple drivers (e.g. climate change or fishing pressure) and being riddled by high uncertainties. Yet, we still manage to come up with models to simulate ecosystem dynamics or establish fishing quotas. In order to achieve this we rely on experts and their judgements. Especially in situations where empirical data is scarce experts are often the best or even only source of information. Experts help to make sense of ambiguous data or, in case of no data, are able to provide input due to their acquired learning and experience. These expert judgments are indispensable but it pays to be aware that they are not perfect. While the idea that people are not always rational agents has been widely accepted, it is often overlooked that experts are humans, too.
Many animals migrate for various reasons, for instance to find new feeding grounds, survive harsh climate, or reproduce. Northeast Arctic cod is a fish that is of high economic importance to Norway and Russia and which undertakes annual migrations. Here, I will talk about its spawning migration and highlight some of its costs and benefits.
The upcoming Brexit has European fishermen worrying that they cannot continue to fish in British waters as they have been doing for centuries. If British waters would truly be closed to European fishermen, it would deal a strong blow to the European fisheries, since many fish are caught in British waters. Here we raise the questions: do fish really care about these country borders, and is it valid from a biological viewpoint for the UK to claim ‘their fish’?
Since Hjort in 1914 it is accepted that recruitment variation is a major source of variability in the biomass of adult fish. In a recent study published in Marine Ecology Progress Series (Durant & Hjermann 2017) we investigated how external forcing and age structure alter the effect of the year-to-year recruitment variability on population growth for some key fish species which occupy different trophic levels in an Arcto-boreal marine ecosystem.