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Life-history traits of the stone loach Barbatula barbatula

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The life-history tactics of the stone loach Barbatula barbatula were studied in a Mediterranean-type climate stream (Matarranya River) located in the Ebro River basin (north-east Spain). Maximum observed ages were 2+ years in both sexes (1% of individuals), although only 0+ and 1+ year age groups were well represented. It is the lowest longevity reported for this species in its entire distribution. The seasonal growth period started in June and continued until November, but the pattern observed was different to northern populations. Barbatula barbatula in the Matarranya River was a multiple spawner, releasing small batches of oocytes between April and June. The fecundity of females was higher and the size of oocytes smaller in 1984 than in 1985. The relative fecundity (number of ripening and ripe oocytes g−1 of fish) was lower than in northern European populations. The role of the particular environmental conditions of a Mediterranean stream was discussed in relation to the life-history tactics of B. barbatula.

Keywords: Barbatula quignardi; Iberian Peninsula; age and growth; fluctuating streams; reproduction

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Avda. Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain 2: Department of Animal Production (Wildlife Unit), University of Lleida, Rovira Roure 191, 25198 Lleida, Spain 3: Aquatic Ecosistems Unit, IRTA, Apartat de correus 200, 43540 Sant Carles de la Ràpita, Spain

Publication date: July 1, 2010


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