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The Ecology of Larval and Metamorphosing Lampreys

  • Heather A. DawsonEmail author
  • Bernardo R. Quintella
  • Pedro R. Almeida
  • Andrew J. Treble
  • Jeffrey C. Jolley
Chapter
Part of the Fish & Fisheries Series book series (FIFI, volume 37)

Abstract

The life cycle of lampreys typically begins in streams where fertilized eggs hatch into small, wormlike larvae (ammocoetes) which burrow into soft stream bottoms where they filter feed on organic matter until the onset of metamorphosis. The relative importance of habitat variables can change with ammocoete size (and depending on the spatial scale measured), but habitat must provide adequate substrate for burrowing and a regular supply of the suspended organic matter upon which larval lampreys feed. Larval movement occurs significantly more often at higher densities and in warmer temperatures, and typically occurs in a downstream direction at night. Sex ratio of some lamprey species is often related to differences in larval density, with the proportion of males increasing with relative density. Larval mortality is thought to be high in the egg phase, immediately following hatching, and at metamorphosis. The duration of the larval period in the life cycle of lampreys has been found to vary among and within species, but generally ranges from 3 to 7 years. However, analyses of larval growth and duration of larval life have been hampered by the unreliability of age assessment methods for larval lampreys. Metamorphosis begins during the summer months, when water temperatures are the most favorable, and is completed by winter or early spring.

Keywords

Age at metamorphosis Feeding Growth Habitat Larval density Macrohabitat Microhabitat Movement Sex ratio Statolith 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The findings and conclusions in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Two anonymous reviewers made suggestions to improve the chapter.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather A. Dawson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bernardo R. Quintella
    • 2
  • Pedro R. Almeida
    • 2
    • 3
  • Andrew J. Treble
    • 4
    • 5
  • Jeffrey C. Jolley
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Michigan-FlintFlintUSA
  2. 2.Centro de Oceanografia and Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de CiênciasUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Biology, School of Sciences and TechnologyUniversity of ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal
  4. 4.Sea Lamprey Control CentreFisheries and Oceans CanadaSault Ste. MarieCanada
  5. 5.Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Aquatic Research UnitFort CollinsUSA
  6. 6.Columbia River Fisheries Program OfficeU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceVancouverUSA

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