Studies on life-history adaptation in arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in the high mountain environment
Here we look at life-history adaptation in the arctic charr in a high mountain environment with a particular emphazis on its life history strategies. As this is a marginal environment with regard to the number and variability of degree-days (i.e. the temperature sum), and the length and variability of the feeding season, the charr must trade-off energetic requirements to growth and gonad allocation, and potentially adopt a bet-hedging strategy. Thus, alternative life-history strategies may evolve in such harsh environments as compared to the founder population which exists in a very divergent lowland environment.
A normal arctic charr male with spawning coloration (above) and a dwarf arctic charr male living sympatrically in lake Fetavatn.
The Finse system is dominated by the arctic charr (some few brown trouts exists), which makes this a very good model system to study the effects of both resource competition and climatic change upon these trade-off patterns. Moreover, we plan to initiate a long-term study on the effects of directional selection on life history traits by enforcing directional fishery induced selection by reducing fish biomass in one lake by selectively removing size/age groups. We hope that interested people and students contact us for more information.