Leif Asbjørn Vøllestad

Leif Asbjørn Vøllestad
University of Oslo · Department of Biosciences

PhD

About

300
Publications
58,515
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
8,235
Citations
Introduction
My research effort is mainly aimed at understanding variation in life history traits in freshwater fish. What drives this diversity? Together with students and colleagues, I study why various populations of freshwater fish behave so differently and have so different life histories. We have focused our research on traits such as growth, age at maturation, fecundity and egg size, since these traits are very important for fitness. Recently, I have started to use functional genomics tools.
Additional affiliations
January 1991 - present
University of Oslo
Position
  • Professor (Full)
January 1991 - present
University of Oslo
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Teaching biology and evolution to undergraduates, and fish ecology and life history theory to graduate students.
Education
January 1984 - November 1988
University of Oslo
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (300)
Article
Full-text available
Migrations between different habitats are key events in the lives of many organisms. Such movements involve annually recurring travel over long distances usually triggered by seasonal changes in the environment. Often, the migration is associated with travel to or from reproduction areas to regions of growth. Young anadromous Atlantic salmon (Salmo...
Article
Full-text available
Climate-induced shifts in the timing of life-history events are a worldwide phenomenon, and these shifts can de-synchronize species interactions such as predator-prey relationships. In order to understand the ecological implications of altered seasonality, we need to consider how shifts in phenology interact with other agents of environmental chang...
Article
Full-text available
The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) population has been in decline at least since the 1960s and reliable regional information, particularly on the spawner production and escapement (i.e. the silver eel life stage), is a requirement of the EU stock recovery regulation. Two comparable time series exist in Burrishoole (Ireland) and Imsa (Norway), wit...
Article
Full-text available
There is an increasing concern about the potential for size-selective harvest to impair population persistence. Yet little is known about the relative contribution of the evolutionary (shifts in life history) and demographic effects (decreased population density and size truncation) of harvesting to changes in fitness. Using medaka (Oryzias latipes...
Article
Full-text available
Linking ecology and evolution can be challenging, particularly as these fields evolve rapidly tracking technological and theoretical developments. Thus, it is important for practitioners of different biological disciplines to understand new opportunities and challenges. Since theory and methods evolve, so will research programmes—often tracking opp...
Article
Full-text available
Size-selective mortality due to harvesting is a threat to numerous exploited species, but how it affects the ecosystem remains largely unexplored. Here, we used a pond mesocosm experiment to assess how evolutionary responses to opposite size-selective mortality interacted with the environment (fish density and light intensity used as a proxy of res...
Article
Full-text available
The movement patterns of three commercially important wrasse (Labridae) species inside a small marine protected area (~ 0.15 km²) on the west coast of Norway were analysed over a period of 21 months. The mean distance between capture and recapture locations varied between 10-187 meters and was species and season specific. The extent of movement was...
Article
Full-text available
Freshwater species are particularly vulnerable to emerging threats linked to climate change because they are often already heavily impacted by habitat destruction, pollution, and exploitation. For many harvested populations of freshwater fish, these combined impacts have been mitigated for decades through stocking with captive-bred individuals. How...
Article
Full-text available
For species with individual variation in reproductive success, experience in breeding and the distribution of different breeders is important for population productivity and viability. Human impacts, such as climate change and harvesting, can alter this distribution and thus population dynamics. Here, we investigated the effect of spawning experience...
Article
Full-text available
Long-term observations of ice phenology in lakes are ideal for studying climatic variation in time and space. We used a large set of observations from 1890 to 2020 of the timing of freeze-up and break-up, and the length of ice-free season, for 101 Norwegian lakes to elucidate variation in ice phenology across time and space. The dataset of Norwegia...
Article
Full-text available
Freshwater acidification is characterised by elevated concentrations of aqueous aluminium. Global emissions of acidifying agents are reduced due to international agreements, and freshwater acidification has shifted from chronic to a more episodic character. The recovery of fish populations in acidified areas is likely to depend on the individual’s...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how populations are structured in space and time is a central question in evolutionary biology. Parasites and their hosts are assumed to evolve together, however, detailed understanding of mechanisms leading to genetic structuring of parasites and their hosts are lacking. As a parasite depends on its host, studying the genetic structu...
Article
Full-text available
Otoliths are inner‐ear structures of all teleost fish with functional importance for hearing and balance. The otoliths usually consist of aragonite, a polymorph of calcium carbonate, but may also take the form partly or entirely of vaterite, a different polymorph of calcium carbonate. Vateritic otoliths occur sporadically in wild fish, but with a h...
Preprint
Full-text available
Long-term observations of ice phenology in lakes are ideal for studying climatic variation in time and space. We used a large set of observations from 1890 to 2020 of the timing of freeze-up and break-up, and the length of ice-free season, for 101 Norwegian lakes to elucidate variation in ice phenology across time and space. The dataset of Norwegia...
Article
Full-text available
Background Earlier breeding is one of the strongest responses to global change in birds and is a key factor determining reproductive success. In most studies of climate effects, the focus has been on large-scale environmental indices or temperature averaged over large geographical areas, neglecting that animals are affected by the local conditions...
Article
Full-text available
Freshwater colonization by threespine stickleback has led to divergence in morphology between ancestral marine and derived freshwater populations, making them ideal for studying natural selection on phenotypes. In an open brackish–freshwater system, we previously discovered two genetically distinct stickleback populations that also differ in geomet...
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly implemented worldwide to maintain and restore depleted populations. However, despite our knowledge on the myriad of positive responses to protection, there are few empirical studies on the ability to conserve species’ mating patterns and secondary sexual traits. In male European lobsters (Homarus gamma...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological and evolutionary effects of environmental variation on wild populations are of particular interest in a changing world. Large-scale environmental indices are classically used as environmental explanatory variables to study climate change effects on wild populations. However, these measures neglect the fact that individuals are affected b...
Article
Full-text available
Temperature is a key environmental parameter affecting both the phenotypes and distributions of organisms, particularly ectotherms. Rapid organismal responses to thermal environmental changes have been described for several ectotherms; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms often remain unclear. Here, we studied whole genome cytosine methylat...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Long-term data from marked animals provide a wealth of opportunities for studies with high relevance to both basic ecological understanding and successful management in a changing world. The key strength of such data is that they allow us to quantify individual variation in vital rates (e.g. survival, growth, reproduction) and then lin...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence‐based management of natural populations under strong human influence frequently requires not only estimates of survival but also knowledge about how much mortality is due to anthropogenic versus natural causes. This is the case particularly when individuals vary in their vulnerability to different causes of mortality due to traits, life‐hi...
Article
Full-text available
The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is critically endangered throughout its range. Knowledge about age distribution of future spawners (silver eels) is essential to monitor the status and contribute to the recovery of this species. Determination of age in anguillid eels is challenging, especially in eels from the northern part of the distribution...
Article
Full-text available
The determinants of intraspecific stoichiometric variation remain difficult to elucidate due to their multiple origins (e.g. genetic vs. environmental) and potential interactive effects. We evaluated whether two size-selected lines of medaka (Oryzias latipes) with contrasted life-history strategies (small- and large-breeder lines with slow growth a...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Studying variation in life-history traits and correlated behaviours, such as boldness and foraging (i.e., pace-of-life syndrome), allows us to better understand how these traits evolve in a changing environment. In fish, it is particularly relevant studying the interplay of resource abundance and size-selection. These are two environme...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Harvesting is often size‐selective, and in species with sexual size dimorphism, it may also be sex‐selective. A powerful approach to investigate potential consequences of size‐ and/or sex‐selective harvesting is to simulate it in a demographic population model. We developed a population‐based integral projection model for a size‐ and sex‐s...
Chapter
Full-text available
Trout are one of the most culturally, economically, and ecologically important taxonomic groups of freshwater fishes worldwide. Native to all continents in the Northern Hemisphere, trout belong to seven genera, which are distributed across 52 countries. Despite their broad importance as societal icons and as indicators of biodiversity, many of the...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Humans are influencing animal and plant populations both directly (e.g.through harvest) and indirectly by altering environments. For many exploitedspecies, stocking with captive-bred individuals is a common strategy tomitigate negative human impacts and sustain populations over time. However,accumulating knowledge of negative side effects of sto...
Article
Full-text available
Salmonids represent an intriguing taxonomical group for investigating genome evolution in vertebrates due to their relatively recent last common whole genome duplication event, which occurred between 80 and 100 million years ago. Here, we report on the chromosome-level genome assembly of European grayling (Thymallus thymallus), which represents one...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Long-term data from marked animals provide a wealth of opportunities for studies with high relevance to both basic ecological understanding and successful management in a changing world. The key strength of such data is that they allow to quantify individual variation in vital rates (e.g. survival, growth, reproduction) and then link it...
Preprint
Full-text available
Evidence-based management of natural populations under strong human influence frequently requires not only estimates of survival but also knowledge about how much mortality is due to anthropogenic versus natural causes. This is the case particularly when individuals vary in their vulnerability to different causes of mortality due to traits, life-hi...
Article
Full-text available
Background Marine threespine sticklebacks colonized and adapted to brackish and freshwater environments since the last Pleistocene glacial. Throughout the Holarctic, three lateral plate morphs are observed; the low, partial and completely plated morph. We test if the three plate morphs in the brackish water Lake Engervann, Norway, differ in body si...
Article
Full-text available
Whole genome duplication (WGD) has been a major evolutionary driver of increased genomic complexity in vertebrates. One such event occurred in the salmonid family ∼80 million years ago (Ss4R) giving rise to a plethora of structural and regulatory duplicate-driven divergence, making salmonids an exemplary system to investigate the evolutionary conse...
Preprint
Full-text available
Whole genome duplication (WGD) has been a major evolutionary driver of increased genomic complexity in vertebrates. One such event occurred in the salmonid family ~80 million years ago (Ss4R) giving rise to a plethora of structural and regulatory duplicate-driven divergence, making salmonids an exemplary system to investigate the evolutionary conse...
Article
Full-text available
Ten years of experience with national salmon rivers – does this management scheme work? Atlantic salmon are found in >600 Norwegian rivers; in a newly introduced national scheme the salmon in 52 rivers and 29 ords have been given particularly strong protection. e scheme includes 75% of the salmon resource, including most of the large and productiv...
Article
Full-text available
Interactions between birds and fish are often overlooked in aquatic ecosystems. We studied the influence of Atlantic salmon and brown trout on the breeding population size and reproductive output of the white‐throated dipper in a Norwegian river. Acidic precipitation led to the extinction of salmon, but salmon recolonized after liming was initiated...
Article
Full-text available
Removing individuals from a wild population can affect the availability of prospective mates and the outcome of competitive interactions, with subsequent effects on mating patterns and sexual selection. Consequently, the rate of harvest-induced evolution is predicted to be strongly dependent on the strength and dynamics of sexual selection yet, the...
Article
Body size can have profound impacts on survival, movement, and reproductive schedules shaping individual fitness, making growth a central process in ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Realized growth is the result of a complex interplay between life history schedules, individual variation, and environmental influences. Integrating all of these a...
Article
Full-text available
Gene expression changes have been recognized as important drivers of adaptation to changing environmental conditions. Little is known about the relative roles of plastic and evolutionary responses in complex gene expression networks during the early stages of divergence. Large gene expression data sets coupled with in silico methods for identifying...
Article
Full-text available
Sufficient genetic diversity can aid populations to persist in dynamic and fragmented environments. Understanding which mechanisms regulate genetic diversity of riverine fish can therefore advance current conservation strategies. The aim of this study was to investigate how habitat fragmentation interacted with population genetic diversity and indi...
Chapter
Full-text available
Freshwater fishes live in complex environments, and are commonly structured into completely or partly reproductively isolated populations. This population structure is influenced by the local geography, the geological history of the landscape and present-day human-mediated changes in the aquatic landscape as well as long-distance translocations of...
Chapter
Full-text available
The wide geographical distribution of brown trout Salmo trutta demonstrates a species with considerable plasticity as well as adaptability in various life history traits. Plasticity is the ability to respond phenotypically to abiotic and biotic factors. The Norwegian rivers running into salt water situated at 58–71 °N, 5–30 °E vary significantly in...