Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Accurate timing of migration prolongs life expectancy in pike


Animal migration is a spectacular phenomenon that has fascinated humans for long. It is widely assumed that appropriate timing of migratory events is crucial for survival, but the causes and consequences of individual variation in timing are poorly understood. New research based on migrating pike in the Baltic Sea and published in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Animal Ecology reveals how behaviours such as punctuality, flexibility and fine-tuning influence life expectancy in fish.

Pike is a widely distributed, long-lived and large keystone predatory fish species that breeds annually after becoming mature. In the Baltic Sea, some pike display homing behaviour and repeatedly migrate to spawn in the same stream where they were born. Migrating pike in the Baltic Sea thus offers interesting and rare opportunities to gain further understanding of the causes and consequences of variation in migratory timing among and within individuals.

Two northern pike (Esox lucius) returning to spawn in the stream where they were born. They will soon emigrate back to the Baltic Sea, where individuals originating from different streams coexist.

Photo © Olof Engstedt

Tibblin and collaborators from Linnaeus University (Kalmar, Sweden) studied arrival timing across six years of more than 2000 marked pike that migrated to a small spawning stream that flowed into the southwest of the Baltic Sea.

Lead-author Dr Petter Tibblin elaborates: “results show that individual migratory timing is consistent across years and that arriving too early or too late increases mortality. Individuals also continuously fine-tune their timing with increased experience, a behaviour that is similar to the trial-and-error method used by many mammals but previously not shown for fish”.

Results also shed some new light on the long-standing and intriguing issue of whether flexibility is adaptive such that it increases fitness, a topic that recently has received increased scientific attention although it has rarely been investigated empirically.

Study co-author professor Anders Forsman says: “we demonstrate that there is variation among individuals in the degree of flexibility (adjustments in migratory timing across years) and further establish that greater flexibility at early reproductive events improves life expectancy”

This research emphasizes the complex nature of animal behaviour, and advances our understanding of migratory behaviour. Co-author professor Per Larsson concludes: “that among individual variation and within-individual flexibility in migratory timing are associated with fitness suggest that these behaviours may also influence the viability of populations in the face of a rapidly changing world, and this should be considered in management programs”.

Petter Tibblin, Anders Forsman, and Per Larsson are members of the Linnaeus University Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems, EEMiS.

Anders Forsmans personal webpage:

Read the article:
Tibblin, P., Forsman, A., Borger, T. and Larsson, P. 2015. Causes and consequences of repeatability, flexibility and individual fine-tuning of migratory timing in pike. Journal of Animal Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12439

Contact information:
Petter Tibblin, PhD, e-mail:; phone: +46-(0)480-44 67 45; cellular phone: +46-(0)705-52 99 37

Anders Forsman, professor, e-mail:; phone: +46-(0)480-44 61 73; cellular phone: +46-(0)706-27 27 38

Per Larsson, professor, e-mail:; phone: +46-(0)480-44 73 11
Pressofficer, Jonas Tenje+46 (0) 70 308 40 75

Pressofficer: Christina Dahlgren, +46-705 72 26 56,

Weitere Informationen: Link to the article

Christina Dahlgren | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Ecology cellular phone timing of migration

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>