Líffræðifélag Íslands - biologia.is
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2017

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster E61

Romance Under the Waves: Mating Behaviour of Arctic Charr in Thingvallavatn

Höfundar / Authors: Edīte Fiskoviča (1), Kalina Hristova Kapralova (1), Jónína Herdís Ólafsdóttir (2), Fredrik Holm (3), Lieke Ponsioen (1), Jukka Siltanen (1), Hrefna Sigurjónsdóttir (1) and Sigurdur S. Snorrason (1)

Starfsvettvangur / Affiliations: 1. University of Iceland Life and Environmental Sciences, 1. University of Iceland School of Social Sciences, 2. Marine and Freshwater Institute in Iceland, 3. Freelance Photographer

Kynnir / Presenter: Edite Fiskovica

Thingvallavatn harbors four morphs of Arctic charr that differ in body size, morphology, behavior and life history characteristics. Arctic charr in Thingvallavatn has been extensively studied for the last four decades. However, very little of the findings have been accessible to a wider public. The only documentary on one of the variants of Arctic charr in Thingvallavatn – the Large Benthivorous (LB) morph - was made in the 1980s in the biggest documented spawning grounds near Ólafsdráttur. Whilst it is innovative for its time and retains scientific relevance, the format and storage medium has aged and thus has become incompatible for current screening equipment.
We have produced footage of the mating behaviors of the LB morph following the previously-defined methods, but with new equipment, better resolution and more hours of filming. Taking into account that more research has been done since the initial filming took place, it was possible to add more value to already existing material.
The film offers a unique opportunity to present Icelandic nature and research findings to a broad local and international audience. The film portrays two viewpoints – that of a researcher and that of a fish. From researcher perspective, the film shows the human part of film creation. Whilst the part devoted to fish shows various mating tactics of the LB Arctic charr, the way in which the charr modify their environment during their spawning period and the environment which has contributed to development of this morph.