, Volume 169, Issue 2, pp 209-224

Ecology of fish spawning and nursery zones in the flood plain, using a new sampling approach

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Horizontal zonation of fish reproduction, a lotic-to-lentic succession similar to that seen with increasing stream order, was evident from the relative abundance of larval and 0 + juvenile fishes in three floodplain spawning and nursery areas (lotic, semi-lotic, lentic) of the Upper Rhône River, France. Although the lotic and lentic ecosystems provided similar estimates of standing crop (0 + juveniles), differences were apparent in the reproductive and trophic guild structure of the YOY taxocoenoses at the three sites. A new sampling approach (Random Point-Abundance Sampling and modified electrofishing) is described for early-life fish ecology. The electrofishing method employed is mobile, effective for all sizes of larvae and 0 + juveniles of most species, quantitative, and applicable to a number of freshwater situations; and the punctual data resulting from this sampling approach are comparable both spatially and temporally.