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Microhabitat use and preferences of the endangered Cottus gobio in the River Voer, Belgium

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Microhabitat use and preferences of juvenile and adult bullhead Cottus gobio, from the River Voer, Flanders, were studied and compared across different seasons. Water depth, water velocity near the substratum, surface water velocity and substratum type used by C. gobio differed between seasons. These differences, however, were not attributable to differences in microhabitat availability. Adults appeared to prefer higher water velocities and coarser substrata than the average ones available in the basin. Although water depth appeared to have little influence on seasonal variation of microhabitat use in adult C. gobio, juveniles preferred deeper water and coarser substrata in winter, whereas in summer they appeared to use shallower water. There was a difference in microhabitat use between juvenile and adult bullhead only in summer.

Keywords: Cottus gobio; fish ecology; microhabitat preference; microhabitat use; suitability

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Department of Biology, Research group of Ecosystem Management, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1C, B-2610 Wilrijk (Antwerp), Belgium

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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