ProjectEcosystem consequences of fisheries-induced evolution in alpine lakes
The aim of my thesis is to evaluate the ecosystem consequences of fisheries-induced evolution in Canadian Rockies alpine lakes, as well as the potential feedback resulting from indirect trophic interactions that could alter fish production. The project will be the first experimental assessment in nature of whether, and to what degree, evolutionary changes elicited by common harvesting approaches cause changes in fisheries productivity, from genes to the entire ecosystems, on fish species of socio-economic importance. The hypothesis that Fisheries-induced evolution alters communities and ecosystems function and amplifies trophic cascades awaits empirical testing under controlled settings of typical levels of fish exploitation. This strategic project will directly help facilitate Parks Canada’s goals of restoring previously fishless alpine lakes in three national rocky mountain parks (Banff, Yoho and Kootenay). I collaborate closely with researchers at Concordia University and the University of Calgary, and with Parks Canada.