Department Fish Ecology and Evolution

Animal migration is one of the great spectacles of nature that has long intrigued curious scientists. Migrants benefit from temporally changing relative benefits of alternative habitats. Individuals experience selection pressures for adaptation to at least two different environments often under intra- and interspecific competition. Current knowledge on adaptation to a migratory life history is limited to the migratory travel per se. However further research is needed to understand the interaction between migration and adaptation to alternative macrohabitats. Specifically, divergent local adaptation in natal habitats may very well determine niche divergence in a second habitat that is shared between multiple migratory populations. This may also cause non-neutral gene-flow between populations.

Migration of trout (Salmo trutta) between afferent streams and Lake Lucerne presents an ideal study system. Here individual migration can be accurately monitored with replication on an individual and population level. In this project we study local adaptation to different stream environments and partial and differential migration. This will be linked to niche divergence in the lake between different populations of migratory trout. Stream-specific migration patterns are detected by PIT-tag antennas in the mouth of 13 tributaries to the lake. With its integrative approach, the study will significantly contribute to our understanding of the interplay between migration, local adaptation and ecological diversification.


Dr. Jakob BrodersenTel. +41 58 765 2204Send Mail

Funding and Duration

Funding: SNSF