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: email@example.com.
Pressofficer Maria Sandqvist; +46-8 16 13 77, mobile +46-70664 22 64; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences