Group Leader, Professor, PhD Øyvind Fiksen
Towards trait-based ecosystem models
I work on behaviour and strategies in fish, zooplankton and microbes, and on the consequences of these tactics and strategies in an ecosystem context. The aim is to develop ecological models where mass and energy fluxes are emerging from evolutionary consistent mechanisms - through natural selection.
The vertical dimension in aquatic ecosystems contain steep gradients in temperature, turbulence and light. Such environmental factors influence most organisms directly, and sets up trade-offs between growth and survival. Understanding these trade-offs, and how organisms respond to them are important not only for behavioural ecologists, but also for recruitment processes to fish populations and ecosystem functioning. As an example, both feeding success and death rates of a larval fish depends on its activity level and where in the water column it prefer to be (see illustration).
Behavioural flexibility is strong in fish and zooplankton, and the diversity of morphological and life-history traits are enormous in nature. Evolution provides us with a key to explain why some traits are successful in given environments. The challenge we have is to build ecological models where organisms are responsive, and at the same time account for mass-balance. In the project 'Trait-based ecosystem models' we are currently focusing on modelling the size-structure and vertical behaviour of the mesozooplankton community as an emergent property from environmental constraints and fish predation.
My Main Page|
University of Bergen, Department of Biology |
(+47) 55 58 46 24|
Department of Biology|
University of Bergen
P.O. Box 7803