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Fish drift in a Danube sidearm‐system: I. Site‐, inter‐ and intraspecific patterns

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A total of 10 649 larval and juvenile fishes of 24 species were caught in the drift at Marchfeldkanal, a man‐made side branch of the Danube River near Vienna, Austria, with tubenose goby Proterorhinus marmoratus being the dominant species. Distinct differences in inter‐ and intraspecific drift patterns among different sampling stations along the course of the channel were found. The percentage of the rheophilic and rheoparous ecological guild was highest at the inlet of the channel, where it is directly fed with water from the Danube. For individual species, significant differences in drift densities among sites were found for tubenose goby, barbel Barbus barbus, ide Leuciscus idus, roach Rutilus rutilus and for the two most abundant percids, the pike‐perch Sander lucioperca and zingel Zingel zingel combined. The occurrence of larval and juvenile fishes in the drift was related to certain developmental stages and differed between species and sites. Most species (common bream Abramis brama, bleak Alburnus alburnus, gudgeon species Gobio spp., chub Leuciscus cephalus, ide and roach) occurred with highest densities at the earliest developmental larval stage, but some species (e.g. common bream and roach) were also found abundantly in drift at later developmental stages. Application of Ivlev‘s index of electivity as a drift index describing the propensity of the different species to drift, yielded the highest indices for the gudgeon species, common bream and bleak and the lowest for perch Perca fluviatilis, Prussian carp Carassius auratus gibelio and rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus.

Keywords: Danube sidearm‐system; Proterorhinus marmoratus; downstream migration; drift; drift index; larval fishes

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Max-Emanuelstraße 17, 1180 Vienna, Austria and 2: Department of Spatial-, Landscape-, and Infrastructure-Sciences, Institute of Mathematics and Applied Statistics, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Max-Emanuelstraße 17, 1180 Vienna, Austria

Publication date: November 1, 2004


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