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Egg drift and hatching success in European river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis : is egg deposition in gravel vital to spawning success?

Silva, S. and Gooderham, A. and Forty, M. and Morland, B. and Lucas, M.C. (2014) 'Egg drift and hatching success in European river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis : is egg deposition in gravel vital to spawning success?', Aquatic conservation : marine and freshwater ecosystems., 25 (4). pp. 534-543.

Abstract

1.The European river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis (Linnaeus, 1758) is a threatened species, formerly widespread throughout western Europe, for which loss and degradation of habitat is one of the main causes of decline. As with other lamprey species, areas of gravel substrate with moderate flows are considered necessary for spawning and egg development of river lamprey. 2.This study investigated the dispersal of river lamprey eggs downstream of a spawning area and the hatching success of eggs in the laboratory under a range of potential abiotic conditions (substrate type, water flow and dissolved oxygen level) which eggs could experience in nature. 3.Lamprey eggs were found to drift for a minimum of 50 m downstream of spawning excavations, facilitating dispersal in riffle habitat and to bankside depositional zones. Under conditions mimicking natural microhabitats, but without predation, median egg hatching success was 85.0% in 'spawning habitat' conditions, but surprisingly, was 50.2% in 'larval habitat' conditions with natural silt. 4.The study suggests that egg dispersal out of spawning excavations may be common in this species and demonstrates that habitat located downstream of spawning areas, even larval habitat characterized by fine sediment and moderate to low flow rates, could play an important role in larval recruitment. This suggests that even small areas of gravel or degraded spawning habitat may enable a higher degree of spawning success than has previously been assumed to be necessary for conservation or recolonization of this species.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2486
Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Silva, S., Gooderham, A., Forty, M., Morland, B., and Lucas, M. C. (2015) Egg drift and hatching success in European river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis: is egg deposition in gravel vital to spawning success? Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 25(4): 534-543, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2486. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Record Created:01 Apr 2016 11:50
Last Modified:01 Apr 2016 12:08

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