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Fish drift in a Danube sidearm‐system: II. Seasonal and diurnal patterns

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Seasonal and diurnal patterns of larval and juvenile fish drift were investigated in the Marchfeldkanal, a man‐made side branch of the Danube River near Vienna, Austria. A clear seasonal pattern with peak densities in mid‐June was found. Species composition varied over time, showed a site specific pattern and was dominated by tubenose goby Proterorhinus marmoratus. Water temperature was the main factor responsible for the increase of drift densities until the median drift date and repeated occurrence of early larval stages in drift indicated repeated spawning for many species. Significant differences in drift densities between different time periods of the day (day, dusk, night and dawn) were found for common bream Abramis brama, barbel Barbus barbus, chub Leuciscus cephalus, tubenose goby and roach Rutilus rutilus. The highest drift rates occurred at night (2200–0400 hours), with 86% of all larvae drifting during the hours of darkness. Fish larvae of different lengths drifting at different phases of the day were found for common bream, bleak Alburnus alburnus and chub, with largest larvae drifting during dusk (chub) and day (bleak and common bream). For bleak, all gudgeon species Gobio spp., tubenose goby, roach and for all cyprinid species combined, one 2 h night sample was found to be sufficient to predict the total 24 h drift.

Keywords: Danube sidearm‐system; Proterorhinus marmoratus; diurnal pattern; drift; larval fish; seasonal pattern

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-1112.2004.00534.x

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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