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Colossal Aggregations of Giant Alien Freshwater Fish as a Potential Biogeochemical Hotspot

Boulêtreau, Stéphanie and Cucherousset, Julien and Villéger, Sébastien and Masson, Rémi and Santoul, Frédéric Colossal Aggregations of Giant Alien Freshwater Fish as a Potential Biogeochemical Hotspot. (2011) PLoS ONE, 6 (10). ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0025732


The ubiquity and fascinating nature of animal aggregations are widely recognised. We report here consistent and previously undocumented occurences of aggregations of a giant alien freshwater fish, the Wels catfish (Silurus glanis). Aggregative groups were on average composed of 25 (±10 SD, ranging from 15 to 44) adults with estimated average total biomass of 651 kg (386 – 1132) and biomass density of 23 kg m−2 (14 – 40). Aggregations always occurred within the same location. No foraging, reproductive or anti-predator behaviour were observed during the aggregations. A mass-balance model estimated that these colossal aggregations of an alien species can locally release, through excretion only, up to 70 mg P m−2 h−1 and 400 mg N m−2 h−1, potentially representing the highest biogeochemical hotspots reported in freshwater ecosystems and another unexpected ecological effect of alien species

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Public Library of Science editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0025732
HAL Id:hal-00912411
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Formation de l'Enseignement Agricole - ENSFEA (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
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Deposited On:02 Dec 2013 09:13

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