Fish Biology and Ecology
Fish Biology and Ecology 2023-24
School of Ocean Sciences
Module - Semester 2
This module will provide a detailed introduction to the evolution, taxonomy and diversity of teleost fishes, a summary of the variation in life cycles, population dynamics and ecology and a review of the anthropogenic threats facing this diverse and widely distributed vertebrate group. The course will contain the following topics:
• The evolution and diversity of teleost fishes will be reviewed and placed within the broader context of fish evolution.
• The adaptive radiation and zoogeography of teleosts will be reviewed covering freshwater and marine distributions as well as the distribution and adaptations to more extreme environments such as intertidal, polar, deep sea, cave and arid habitats.
• The lifecycles and population dynamics of teleost fishes will be reviewed. Particular focus will be placed on the larval phase as the critical phase in the life cycle for most teleost fishes and the variability in life cycles and life history strategies observed amongst teleost fishes will be reviewed. Fish population dynamics will be reviewed including summaries of how patterns of population structure, growth, mortality and maturity are described. The models used to describe the dynamics of fish populations (including fisheries management models) will be described.
• The behavioural ecology of teleost fishes will be summarised to provide a summary of how fishes interact with each other and with their environment.
• The conservation ecology of teleost fishes will be reviewed with particular focus on extinction and biodiversity threats and the approaches adopted to conserve and restore threatened fishes.
• The anthropogenic impacts on teleost fishes will be summarised including exploitation impacts (ecosystem shifts and fisheries-induced evolution) and environmental impacts (pollutants, invasive fish species, habitat destruction and climate change)
-threshold -(D) The students should be able to express a basic factual knowledge of at least some part of the core material presented in the module, and be able to show some level of understanding of the evolution and distribution of teleost fishes, their ecology and the anthropogenic threats faced by this taxa. The students should have demonstrated a basic ability to analyse and present data on fish feeding ecology in their lab report.
-good -(B) The students should be able to express a thorough factual knowledge of much of the core material presented in the module, and have a competent and detailed understanding of the evolution and distribution of teleost fishes, their ecology and the anthropogenic threats faced by this taxa. Some evidence of further reading and ability to integrate material from the full range of the lecture content will be shown. The students should have demonstrated good numerical analysis skills and the ability to analyse and present fish feeding ecology data in a clear and concise manner, and to show a good level of additional reading; using a wide range of literature to make sensible inferences about the data.
-excellent -(A) The students should demonstrate comprehensive factual knowledge, critical understanding of theory, evidence of extensive extra reading of primary literature and the ability to integrate this extra knowledge in a relevant manner thus demonstrating a clear and detailed understanding of the evolution and distribution of teleost fishes, their ecology and the anthropogenic threats faced by this taxa. In the feeding ecology lab report, the students should have demonstrated excellent numerical analysis skills and the ability to present their data in a clear and concise manner, and to show evidence of extensive extra reading from primary sources, discussing their own data in a wholly justified manner to high scientific standards.
- Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the essential facts, major concepts, principles and theories associated with teleost evolution, diversity and ecology
- Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the feeding ecology of fishes and the ability to analyse and present data relating body morphology to feeding ecology in the form of a lab report
- Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the population dynamics of teleost fishes
- Demonstrate an appreciation of the various anthropogenic threats faced by teleost fishes and the potential impacts of these threats
- Understand and explain the evolutionary history and zoogeography of teleost fishes and the diverse ecology of the taxa
Fish Feeding Ecology lab report - each student will analyse data collected during the lab practicals, together with archived data collected in previous years, to examine the relationships between mouth size, intestine length and feeding ecology in teleost fishes. There will be a lecture outlining the assignment, students are provided with a handout that explains the data analysis and two help sessions are timetabled to deal with questions related to the data analysis.
Exam (Centrally Scheduled)
End of module written examination consisting of two sections, each with two questions. Students should answer one question from Section A and one question from Section B. Both questions carry equal weighting (50% of mark).