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Contemporary Problems of Ecology

2020 year, number 2

Threespine stickleback of the White Sea: population characteristics and role in the ecosystem

D. L. Lajus1, P. V. Golovin1, A. E. Zelenskaia1, A. S. Demchuk1,2, A. S. Dorgham1,3, M. V. Ivanov1, T. S. Ivanova1, S. A. Murzina4, N. V. Polyakova1,5, E. V. Rybkina2, A. O. Yurtseva2
1Saint-Petersburg University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
2Zoological Institute of RAS, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
3Central Laboratory for Aquaculture Research, Abu-Hammad, Sharkia, Egypt
4Institute of Biology of Karelian Research Centre of RAS, Petrozavodsk, Russia
5Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of RAS, Moscow, Russia
Keywords: трехиглая колюшка, Белое море, изменения климата, экосистема, популяции, трофические связи, threespine stickleback, White Sea, climate change, ecosystem, populations, trophic connections


The review summarizes and analyzes data on the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus of the White Sea, which is currently the most abundant fish in the sea and play an important role in the coastal and open water communities. The stickleback was abundant in the 1920-1940s, declined significantly between the late 1960s and late 1990s, and has increased again since then, showing a positive correlation with temperature. To reveal the mechanisms of changes in the population of the stickleback and its role in the marine ecosystem, various aspects of the species’ population biology (interannual and seasonal population dynamics, spatial heterogeneity, age and sex structure, lipid and fatty acid status, homing and fluctuating asymmetry), as well as its interactions with other organisms (adult and juvenile feeding, role in the feeding of predatory fish, association with seagrass, parasite composition and spatial distribution, relationships with competitors) are analyzed.