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Seasonal dynamics in population characteristics of European bitterling Rhodeus amarus in a small lowland river

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The seasonal dynamics of biological traits in a population of European bitterling Rhodeus amarus from a small river in central Europe (River Kyjovka, Czech Republic) were investigated from April 2007 to March 2008. The reproductive season lasted from early April to mid-June, with a peak in late April when > 50% of females possessed ripe eggs in their ovaries. The sex ratio was female-biased, with a higher bias following the peak in reproduction, suggesting higher mortality of males than females over the reproductive period. The population was effectively annual, with a major decrease in adult fish abundance at the end of the reproductive period. Highest relative lipid content and condition factor were observed in February, both decreasing with an increase in investment into gonads. Seasonal dynamics in somatic condition, relative lipid content and gonad mass, and their comparison with other R. amarus populations, suggest that the study population allocated a disproportionally high level of resources to reproduction.
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Keywords: Acheilognathinae; annual life cycle; ecophysiology; gonado-somatic index; lipid content; somatic condition

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Květná 8, 603 65 Brno, Czech Republic

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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