Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New fish romping in the southern Baltic

24.04.2008
In less than three decades the round goby has become one of the most colorful features of the southern Baltic. The fish, which comes from the Black Sea, has rapidly adapted to Baltic conditions and can locally dominate coastal fish populations. This has led to competition with domestic fish species, such as the flounder, but it has also become a significant contribution to the diet of important predatory fishes, such as cod and perch. This is shown in a dissertation in systems ecology at Stockholm University in Sweden.

The human dissemination of alien species is regarded as one of the greatest threats to maintaining biodiversity.

The round goby was probably brought to the Baltic from the Black Sea via the ballast water of huge freighters, which is one of the most common ways for alien water-dwelling organisms to spread in global terms.

Gustaf Almqvist at the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, has been studying the progress of these fish in the Gulf of Gdansk for the past five years. He reports that the fish are so common there that when you wade into shallow water you can see them jumping and splashing around your feet.

"Since the species is an entirely new ingredient in the fauna of the Baltic, this is a golden opportunity to study, on the one hand, how it is adapting and, on the other hand, how it is affecting typical Baltic species," says Gustaf Almqvist.

His research shows that the species evinces differences in sexual maturity, growth, and longevity under different conditions, which probably facilitates its adaptation to strictly separate environments.

Together with Swedish and Polish colleagues, Gustaf Almqvist has shown how the new species has the potential to compete with domestic fishes, like the flounder. Even though the fish seldom grows to be more than 20 cm long, it is relatively large in comparison with related domestic fishes (sand goby, common goby, black goby). It is aggressive and territorial (the males guard the young) and therefore forces out other bottom-dwelling fishes from major coastal areas.

The two most common predatory fish in the southern Baltic, the cod and the perch, have started to exploit the new species as prey, and in coastal areas the round goby is at the top of their menu.

Mussels, above all blue mussels, are important food for round gobies, and since other fish species in the southern Baltic do not eat blue mussels to any great extent, the round goby constitutes a new link between mussels and predatory fish.

"More energy, but also more poisons, that can aggregate in mussels can therefore be transported from mussels higher up the food chain," says Gustaf Almqvist.

Everything indicates that the future spread of the species within the Baltic will be dependent on the climate, since it needs long warm summers to establish stocks.

"It's difficult to predict the future spread of the species in the Baltic, but considering changes in climate and the fact that there is no shortage of blue mussels in the Baltic, I find it hard to believe that it will not spread further," says Gustaf Almqvist.

Gustaf Almqvist wrote his dissertation in the interdisciplinary research project AquAliens (funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency) and has been employed by the Coastal Laboratory of the Swedish Board of Fisheries in Öregrund and by the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University.

Title of dissertation: Round goby Neogobius melanostomus in the Baltic Sea - Invasion Biology in practice.

Further information: Gustaf Almqvist, Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University,phone: +46 (0)8-16 10 59; cell phone: +46 (0)739-4000 92; e-mail: gustaf@ecology.su.se.

Pressofficer Maria Sandqvist; +46-8 16 13 77, mobile +46-70664 22 64; e-mail: maria.sandqvist@eks.su.se

Maria Sandqvist | idw
Further information:
http://expertsvar.se
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>