Brown trout Salmo trutta redd superimposition by spawning Lampetra species in a lowland stream

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Reproductive interaction between sympatric lampreys and salmonids was studied. The superimposition of brown trout Salmo trutta redds by spring-spawning river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis and brook lamprey Lampetra planeri was examined in a small lowland stream of western Lithuania. A high superimposition rate of S. trutta redds by both L. fluviatilis (up to 83%) and L. planeri (up to 48%) was found, when the spawning intensity of Lampetra spp. was high. The occurrence of this phenomenon is the result of the overlap in the spawning habitat preferences at the reach-scale and at the microhabitat scale for the three species. One of the main requirements for Lampetra spp. spawning site selection was the negative streambed slope, an essential trait of the pool–riffle transitional zone. The structure of the salmonid redd created a considerable negative microhabitat slope suitable for Lampetra spp. spawning, which put the redds under a higher susceptibility to be superimposed. The timing of Lampetra spp. spawning overlapped closely with the emergence of S. trutta fry, suggesting a probable ecological effect of superimposition on S. trutta in the pre-emergent and emerging stages.

Keywords: fry emergence; lamprey; reproductive interaction; salmonids; spatial overlap; sympatric species

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Institute of Ecology of Nature Research Centre, Akademijos 2, LT-08412, Vilnius, Lithuania

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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