Experimental evolutionary fish addition for lake restoration
A major knowledge gap exists in understanding the conditions and extent to which eco-evolutionary interactions occur in whole ecosystems in natural settings where variation in natural selection occurs over time and space, where species interactions occur within and across trophic levels of food webs, and where there is dispersal between habitats. Threespine stickleback fish provide a useful study system for integrative studies of eco-evolutionary feedbacks between consumer trait evolution and prey communities. Eight Alaskan lakes were recently treated by U.S. Fish & Wildlife to remove non-native northern pike. In collaboration with researchers at McGill University (Andrew Hendry), these lakes have been restocked with evolutionarily divergent lineages of limnetic or benthic threespine stickleback. Our lab is exploring the eco-evolutionary consequences of evolutionary-divergent stocking of stickleback in these lakes from the perspective of prey population and community responses to ecosystem-level processes. We are collaborating with many other researchers at EAWAG-Switzerland, the University of Alaska Anchorage, the University of Connecticut, the University of Texas Arlington, and McGill University.
For a related project, see Mariane Daneau-Lamoureux