Littoral age 0+ fish distribution in relation to multi-scale spatial heterogeneity of a deep-valley reservoir

Michal Kratochvíl, Tomáš Mrkvička, Mojmír Vašek, Jiří Peterka, Martin Čech, Vladislav Draštík, Tomáš Jůza, Josef Matěna, Milan Muška, Jaromír Seďa, Petr Znachor, Jan Kubečka
Hydrobiologia, 2012, 696(1): 185-198
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Littoral age 0+ fish were studied with respect to spatio-temporal heterogeneity in the deep-valley Římov Reservoir (Czech Republic) from June to October 2007 using point abundance sampling by electrofishing. The abundance and diversity of age 0+ fish in different types of littoral habitats were examined along the longitudinal gradient of the reservoir during daytime. The impact of some physical attributes of the studied littoral habitats, e.g. slope steepness and substrate size, along with the season was the main factors affecting the distribution of age 0+ fish. The level of structural complexity was not a strong determinant, because the overall diversity and structural complexity of the available littoral habitats were relatively too low to have greater impact on the age 0+ fish distribution. The physical factors markedly influenced the spatial segregation between the two most important taxa in the reservoir-percids and cyprinids. Perch was the only representative of age 0+ percids in the littoral zone, which occupied steep-sloped habitats early in the season. In contrast, gently sloped habitats were mainly occupied by cyprinids later in the season. Species diversity was reflected in the occurrence of age 0+ cyprinids, achieving a maximum in gently sloped habitats in October. The effect of the longitudinal gradients on age 0+ fish distribution and diversity was generally far less significant, but was rather decisive during the period of a pronounced longitudinal trophic gradient during the summer season.

Keywords: cyprinids; electrofishing; growing season; habitat preference; percids; slope steepness