Skip to main content

Seasonal and diel patterns in the migrations of fishes between a river and a floodplain tributary

Carter, M. G.; Vilizzi, L.; Copp, G. H.; Nunn, A. D.

Authors

M. G. Carter

L. Vilizzi

G. H. Copp



Abstract

The population behaviours associated with the migrations of fishes in lowland river ecosystems are amongst the most poorly-understood dispersal mechanisms of temperate freshwater organisms. This study evaluated the influence of four environmental variables (light levels, river discharge, water temperature and water velocity) on the timing, intensity and direction of fish movements between the River Avon (Hampshire, England) and a small floodplain tributary, Ibsley Brook, over a 12-month period. Using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) to identify patterns of movement (by groups of species) and the relative strengths of explanatory variables in the data, the probability of fishes migrating between the river and tributary was determined using Bayesian modelling. The intensity and direction of fish movements between the river and tributary varied temporally, both on a diel and seasonal basis, and there were species- and age-specific patterns in behaviour. Diel movements appeared to be triggered by changes in light intensity and brook water velocity, whereas seasonal movements were mostly driven by changes in river discharge and water temperature, particularly those associated with floods. This study emphasises the importance of connectivity in river systems, as fishes migrated in all conditions, but especially during rapidly-rising discharge.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 31, 2010
Journal ECOLOGY OF FRESHWATER FISH
Print ISSN 0906-6691
Electronic ISSN 1600-0633
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 1
Pages 153-162
APA6 Citation Carter, M. G., Vilizzi, L., Copp, G. H., & Nunn, A. D. (2010). Seasonal and diel patterns in the migrations of fishes between a river and a floodplain tributary. Ecology of freshwater fish, 19(1), 153-162. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0633.2009.00399.x
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0633.2009.00399.x
Keywords Ecology; Aquatic Science; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics