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Individual movement variation in upstream-migrating sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus in a highly fragmented river.

Davies, P., Britton, J. R., Nunn, A. D., Dodd, J. R., Bainger, C., Velterop, R. and Bolland, J. D., 2022. Individual movement variation in upstream-migrating sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus in a highly fragmented river. Freshwater Biology, 67 (4), 643-656.

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Davies et al. individual lamprey movement_accepted.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13869


Anthropogenic reductions in riverine connectivity can severely impede the migrations of anadromous species. In fragmented rivers, successful migrations depend on the ability of migrants to negotiate barriers or locate alternative passage routes. However, individual variation in the specific aspects of movement that determine migration success in fragmented rivers, is poorly characterised. 2. Here, individual variation was investigated in the spawning migrations of 56 adult sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus, an anadromous, semelparous species that does not show fidelity to natal rivers. The variability and consequences of two key aspects of fish migration within fragmented rivers were tested: passage time (total time taken to pass a barrier) and retreats (exploratory downstream movements after unsuccessful passage attempts). These were tested using acoustic telemetry in the highly fragmented River Severn catchment, western England. 3. Distinct unimodal, bimodal and multimodal patterns of variation in passage times were displayed across the different barriers, potentially related to the physical characteristics of the barrier and prevailing river discharge conditions when the barriers were first approached, but were not related to lamprey body sizes. At the first three barriers encountered by upstream-migrating sea lamprey in the study, between 30-46% of individuals made retreat movements, and between 5-100% of retreating individuals were able to locate alternative tributaries. Retreating individuals were highly variable in their distance and frequency of retreats; overall, retreat movements comprised 11% (lower-upper quartiles 0-52%, range 0-76%) of the total distance moved prior to reaching spawning areas. Time-to-event analysis indicated that retreat rates reduced as river discharge increased. 4. There was no evidence indicating that individual variation in passage time, or presence of retreat movements at barriers, influenced the subsequent upstream migration speed or final upstream extent of lampreys. While predictability in rank arrival timing was high within three unobstructed reaches, this predictability was disrupted at barriers due to individual variation in passage times. 5. Anthropogenic barriers can thus both disrupt and reveal individual variation in the migration dynamics of anadromous species. Substantial variability in retreat behaviours can be displayed by anadromous species facing delays at barriers, with these behaviours also associated with environmental conditions and the availability of alternative migration routes. Individual variation in exploration and passage time of migrants strongly influence their eventual spawning distribution.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Research Funding LIFE programme National Lottery Heritage Fund Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK Government
Uncontrolled Keywords:Acoustic telemetry; Barriers; Individual variation; Migration; Rivers
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:36323
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:03 Dec 2021 11:47
Last Modified:21 Jan 2023 01:08


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