Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 79, Issue 3–4, pp 397–411 | Cite as

North American Green and European Atlantic Sturgeon: Comparisons of Life Histories and Human Impacts

  • Joern Gessner
  • Joel P. Van Eenennaam
  • Serge I. Doroshov


Green and European Atlantic sturgeon are listed as a vulnerable and a critically endangered species, respectively. These anadromous species inhabit different continents but have many similar life history traits and demographic characteristics, including wide geographic ranges, similar migratory and foraging behavior, age and size structures of reproductive stocks and, historically, diverse population structures. The differences are limited to tetraploid genome and much larger egg size and lower fecundity in green sturgeon, reflecting the adaptations to different geomorphology and biota of the Pacific region. Both species have been affected by over-harvest and habitat losses but the severity of these impacts have been greater and lasted longer for the European Atlantic sturgeon, resulting in loss of diversity and extirpation of all but one stock. From the comparison of human impact on two species we conclude that preventive actions should be taken at the early warning signs of changes in population and recruitment. These should mitigate multiple factors of human activity affecting sturgeon stocks and their habitats.


Sturgeon Acipenser medirostris Acipenser sturio Life histories Comparison 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joern Gessner
    • 1
  • Joel P. Van Eenennaam
    • 2
  • Serge I. Doroshov
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Biology of FishesLeibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland FisheryBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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