KNO5: Intraspecific diversity in Arctic freshwater systems and its relevance in biodiversity and conservation: from pattern to process

Date: Thursday October 11, 2018

Location: Kero, Lappia Hall

Time: 13:30-15:00

The session is composed of presentations from diverse speakers that demonstrate intraspecific diversity in aquatic systems in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, its rapid evolution in the face of climate change, and discussion on how to implement knowledge of species adaptation and resilience into practices for conservation. The session focuses on the ecology-evolution-development framework, illustrating studies on aquatic species in the Arctic and subarctic areas, and how pattern and descriptive oriented views can lead to detrimental conservation strategies. It will conclude with discussions on how to preserve biodiversity by integrating knowledge of key processes in the development and evolution of species into management and conservation plans.

Chairs: Camille Leblanc, Department of Aquaculture and Fish Biology, Hólar University College; Skúli Skúlason, Department of Aquaculture and Fish Biology, Hólar University College

Format: Series of presentations followed by discussion

Presentations:

  • Eco-evo-devo framework for the understanding of biodiversity: moving on from a pattern to process oriented view: Skúli Skúlason, Department of Aquaculture and Fish Biology, Hólar University College pdf
  • How do ecological factors shape intraspecific biodiversity in Arctic fishes: Bjarni Kristjánsson, Department of Aquaculture and Fish Biology, Hólar University Collegepdf
  • How intraspecific biodiversity affects ecosystem properties and functioning: Kimmo Kahilainen, UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • How failing to recognise phenotypic and genetic structure that lies beneath the species can lead to conservation dead-end: Colin W. Bean, Scottish Natural Heritagepdf
  • Developmental approaches toward the preservation of biodiversity through an understanding of its origins: Kevin Parsons, Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgowpdf
  • The significance of intraspecific diversity and its conservation: Colin Adams, Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment, University of Glasgow pdf 

 


Abstracts:

Eco-evo-devo framework for the understanding of biodiversity: moving on from a pattern to process oriented view

Skúli Skúlason, Bjarni K. Kristjánsson, and Camille Leblanc, Department of Aquaculture and Fish Biology, Hólar University College

It is increasingly recognized that to consider the value of biological diversity in conservation and management programs it is necessary to understand the processes as well as the patterns of biodiversity. This approach calls for the recognition of phenotypic diversity within and among populations and species, how it is shaped by ecological factors and how it can in turn influence ecosystems. Here, an integrated process orientated framework of eco-evo-devo will be used to demonstrate this and explain how such approach can help to conserve biological diversity. We believe that this is particularly important for freshwater systems in subarctic and Arctic regions where patterns and processes of biodiversity are highly dynamic within and among species

 

How do ecological factors shape intraspecific biodiversity in Arctic fishes

Bjarni Kristjánsson, Skúli Skúlason and Camille Leblanc, Department of Aquaculture and Fish Biology, Hólar University College

Northern freshwater fishes show an unusual intraspecific phenotypic diversity, with two or more sympatric morphs or even species, within the same area. This polymorphism is commonly seen in structures and/or behaviour for exploiting resources (i.e.resource polymorphism) and can give rise to discrete morphs or even new species. Studies have clearly indicated the importance of ecological characters for the formation of this diversity. Across populations similar phenotypes can be seen in similar ecological surroundings. The clearest examples of such relationships can be seen along the benthic pelagic axis in lakes. Such parallel patterns are the results of parallel phenotypic responses under similar selection factors. Such responses can be seen in adaptive evolution, through natural selection. Furthermore, adaptive plastic responses, both within and across generations (maternal effects) can fine tune the relationship betwen phenotypic and ecological diversity. In this talk we will introduce how ecological factors can promote and shape phenotypic diversity within and among populations, through the above mentioned ways, using Icelandic Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) as a model species.

 

How intraspecific biodiversity affects ecosystem properties and functioning

Kimmo Kahilainen, Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, The Norwegian College of Fishery Science, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

The role of intraspecific diversity of fish on trophic interactions and ecosystem processes is increasingly recognized. Salmonid fish in subarctic and Arctic regions are especially prone to divergence into incipient species or morphs that are often key components in food webs. In this talk, I will assess the role of European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) in overall biodiversity and food web processes in subarctic lakes. Similarly to species biodiversity, the intraspecific diversity is driven by increasing lake size and depth as well as a slight increase in productivity. Whitefish is often the dominant species in Fennoscandian subarctic lakes and in case of polymorphic populations their abundance is much higher than other species. The key role of polymorphic whitefish has significant effects shaping their zooplankton prey populations towards smaller species and lower abundance. Furthermore, whitefish are key forage species to many piscivorous fish and polymorphic populations increase the niche size and trophic position of their main predator. Whitefish divergence also promotes change of food web energy flows towards more pelagic derived direction. The overall impact of whitefish divergence on ecological interactions and ecosystem processes is so evident that in the future the monitoring of subarctic lakes should indeed include intraspecific biodiversity aspects too.

 

How failing to recognise phenotypic and genetic structure that lies beneath the species can lead to conservation dead-end

Colin W. Bean, Scottish Natural Heritage; Colin Adams, Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment, University of Glasgow

In this talk we will examine how conservation legislation and wildlife management practices deal with phenotypic and genotypic variation within a single species. We will address a number of questions in this talk: How does the taxonomic status of a diverging group affect its level of protection? Is the recognition of full species status important for conservation? What conservation instruments are available to protect diverging groups? Do we need to think differently about diversity to recognise and protect it adequately?

 

Developmental approaches toward the preservation of biodiversity through an understanding of its origins

Kevin Parsons, Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow; Calum Campbell, Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow; Colin Bean, Scottish Natural Heritage; Colin Adams, Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment, University of Glasgow

Biodiversity is the outcome of an evolutionary process. However, at a proximate level biodiversity can be generated through changes in development that are responsive to environmental perturbation. While changes in demography are often the focus of conservation monitoring programs it is likely the case that such developmental changes will occur, and be detectable, before population shifts occur. Therefore, a consideration of developmental changes could provide an important tool for conservationists and serve as an ‘early warning’ system for detrimental environmental changes. Through case studies we demonstrate how ‘developmental thinking’ can inform conservation. Specifically, we will focus on how a species vulnerable to climate change, the arctic charr, will respond developmentally to a climate change scenario. This research demonstrates how biodiversity could be altered prior to any change in demographic parameters, and how new approaches and thinking can enhance current conservation practises.

 

The significance of intraspecific diversity and its conservation

Colin Adams, Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment, University of Glasgow

In this talk we will bring together a number of strands of argument presented by others to consider what kinds of patterns of intraspecific divergences in genotype and phenotype that we see in nature. We will evaluate its importance in terms of its contribution to biodiversity and the likely need for its protection and the routes through which that protection might be effectively delivered.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Join our LinkedIn Group
Check us out on Google+
Follow Us on Instagam
Follow Us on Flickr