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Dispersal and retention of larval fish in a potential nursery habitat of a large temperate river: an experimental study

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Abstract:

Little information is available on governing factors of larval fish dispersal in natural river systems. Therefore, we aimed to describe dispersal and retention of marked larval nase carp, Chondrostoma nasus, along a shoreline nursery habitat of the River Danube. Based on a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model, we analyzed the influence of the hydraulic conditions on larval dispersal. We also related observed larval pathways to numerical particle tracing. Clear differences in the temporal drift pattern were due to significant differences in the hydrodynamic characteristics of the release stations. Some larvae remained in the study reach, most upstream of the release point. These were significantly larger than drifting larvae. We conclude that larval dispersal has an active component and that dispersal and retention patterns are dependent on the habitat structure and hydrodynamic characteristics of the releasing points. This emphasizes the importance of links between the location of spawning sites within the river and variation in flow during early development, the combination of which may contribute to successful recruitment of fluvial fish species.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1139/f2012-061

Affiliations: 1: Christian Doppler Laboratory for Advanced Methods in River Monitoring, Modeling and Engineering, Institute of Water Management, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering, Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Muthgasse 107, A-1190 Vienna, Austria. 2: Department of Limnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.

Publication date: 2012-08-01

More about this publication?
  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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