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Habitat selectivity of substrate-spawning fish: modelling requirements for the Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Limnology.
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2010 (English)In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, E-ISSN 1616-1599, Vol. 398, 235-243 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Substrate spawning fish are believed to be selective in their choice of spawning habitat,yet few studies have shown the relative importance of different characteristics in terms of habitatquality. We used an extensive and detailed dataset to identify the factors that govern both large-scale(1 000 to 100 000 m) and local-scale (10 to 100 m) selection by a substrate-spawning fish, the Eurasian perchPerca fluviatilis L. Distribution of spawning habitat was strongly dependent on habitat characteristicsdefined by substrate, wave exposure, temperature and depth. The most important predictor was thetype of spawning substrate, which generally consisted of different types of vegetation. Substratesproviding rigidity and structural complexity were preferred, despite abundant presence of other substratetypes. Shallow depth and sheltered areas were also selected habitat characteristics. Theresponse to temperature was scale-dependent, with a stronger selection expressed at the local scale.The specific selectivity suggests that spawning patterns can be successfully modelled with sufficientdetail using only a few fundamental environmental variables. Wave exposure and depth are readilyavailable for large-scale spatial predictions, while temperature and substrate require further developmentin most coastal areas. The high specificity of the characteristics determining habitat qualitysuggests that it should be possible to apply this modelling approach for identification and conservationof spawning habitats of Eurasian perch and other substrate-spawning fishes in coastal waters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 398, 235-243 p.
Keyword [en]
Habitat modelling, Nursery areas, Large-scale maps, Macrophytes, Behaviour; Oviposition, Generalised additive model, GAM
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-132618DOI: 10.3354/meps08313ISI: 000273968500018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-132618DiVA: diva2:358598
Available from: 2010-10-22 Created: 2010-10-22 Last updated: 2011-01-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Spatial Modelling of Coastal Fish – Methods and Applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spatial Modelling of Coastal Fish – Methods and Applications
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Environmental factors influence species and habitats on multiple scales creating a mosaic of distribution patterns. Studying factors shaping these patterns are central to our understanding of population dynamics and ultimately ecosystem functioning. Information on the distribution of resources and conservation values are also highly needed in marine management as coastal areas are increasingly influenced by human activities.

In this thesis, large-scale field data is used to explore how strong environmental gradients found on multiple scales in the coastal areas of the Baltic Sea influence fish habitats. The underlying concepts are based in the field of species distribution modelling, whereby habitat maps can be produced using environmental layers in a geographic information system. Distribution modelling is further used to address both ecological and applied questions by examining effects of habitat limitation on fish population sizes and to evaluate management actions aimed at habitat conservation.

I show that specific habitat requirements for fish species of both freshwater and marine origin can be described using environmental variables and that species-environment relationships can be used to predict the distribution of early life-stages of fish in the Baltic Sea archipelagos. Further, predicted habitat availability of a specific life-stage was directly related to adult population size of Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis, signifying that the abundance of large predatory fish can be limited by specific recruitment habitats. Lastly, by predicting the distribution of an assemblage of coastal fish species and their associated habitats, an assessment of a network of marine protected areas was performed. Results revealed large gaps in the current network and identified areas suitable for future protection. By demonstrating how current habitat protection can be improved by including critical habitats for coastal fish population sizes this thesis points to the benefits of integrating nature conservation and fisheries management.

Based on these findings I conclude that species distribution modelling provides a suitable analytical framework for assessing the habitat requirements of organisms. An increased understanding of habitat-population relationships and an ability to accurately map ecologically important features will be of great value for an ecosystem-based marine management. ­



Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 43 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 779
habitat, niche, species distribution modelling, juvenile, fish, larvae, spawning
National Category
Ecology Natural Sciences Ecology Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Limnology; Biology with specialization in Animal Ecology; Limnology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-132620 (URN)978-91-554-7928-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-10, Friessalen, Evolutionary Biology Centre (EBC), Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18, 752 36 Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Felaktigt tryckt som Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology 709Available from: 2010-11-19 Created: 2010-10-22 Last updated: 2011-03-21Bibliographically approved

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