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Environmental determinism of year to year recruitment variability of European eel in a small coastal catchment, the Frémur river, north-west France

Acou, Anthony and Legault, Antoine and Laffaille, Pascal and Feunteun, Eric Environmental determinism of year to year recruitment variability of European eel in a small coastal catchment, the Frémur river, north-west France. (2009) Journal of Fish Biology, 74 (9). 1985-2001. ISSN 0022-1112

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2009.02288.x

Abstract

The influence of environmental factors (mainly the river flow) on the year-to-year variability of European eel Anguilla anguilla fluvial recruitment in a small coastal River (north-west France) was examined. A comprehensive survey of catches from fixed traps at two weirs located at 4·5 km (Pont es Omnes Dam) and 6·0 km (Bois Joli Dam) above the river mouth was carried out between 1997 and 2004. Young pigmented elvers (mean ± s.d. total length, 133·7 ± 29·6 mm) were recruited in eel-passes from February to October, but the main runs followed a modal curve from April to September with a peak centred in May to June. Catches varied greatly between years, from 381 to 26 765 elvers. For each trap, a positive linear relationship between monthly mean river flow that preceded the maximal intensity of captures and annual total catches was observed. These relationships explained 73·1% (P <0.01) and 89·0% (P <0.001) of the year-to-year variability of the recruitment observed in the Pont es Omnes and Bois Joli traps respectively. A significant increase in river flow at the beginning of the migration peak would thus trigger a greater proportion of A. anguilla settled in the estuary and in the downstream zone of the Fremur River to begin their freshwater colonization. The physicochemical roles of changes in river discharge in stimulating upstream migration are discussed. It is concluded that fluvial recruitment in the Fremur River is mainly determined by environmental factors.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Wiley-Blackwell editor. The definitive version is available at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
French research institutions > Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - IRD (FRANCE)
Other partners > Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle - MNHN (FRANCE)
Other partners > Fish-Pass (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Rennes 1 (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
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Deposited By: Pascal LAFFAILLE
Deposited On:14 Feb 2013 16:47

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