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Local adaptation driven by evolution of dispersal traits in marine larvae

Research project
Active research
Project owner
Department of Marine Sciences

Short description

Most marine invertebrates disperse during a planktonic larval stage that may last for many weeks while drifting with the ocean circulation. A challenge for larvae of coastal species is to stay close to the coastline, or return at the time of recruitment. In this project we study larvae of shore crabs (Carcinus maenas) and implications for dispersal and evolution of local adaptations.

Issues for research

  • Vertical behavior in rhythm with tidal and day/night cycles along an environmental gradient.
  • Effect of vertical behavior on predation risk.
  • Genetic differentiation along an environmental gradient.
  • Test for presence of molecular clock to control behaviour.
  • Biophysical modelling to test hypotheses about how evolution of specific larval behaviors may select for local adaptations and enhance recruitment.

Participating researchers

Marlene Jahnke, Department of Marine Sciences – Tjärnö
Personal webpage

Per Jonsson, Department of Marine Sciences – Tjärnö
Personal webpage

Per-Olav Moksnes, Department of Marine Sciences
Personal webpage