Seasonal water level manipulation for flood risk management influences home-range size of common bream Abramis Brama L. in a lowland river

Gardner, C. J. and Deeming, Denis Charles and Eady, Paul (2015) Seasonal water level manipulation for flood risk management influences home-range size of common bream Abramis Brama L. in a lowland river. River Research and Applications, 31 (2). pp. 165-172. ISSN 1535-1459

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

The increased threat of flooding from climate change requires ever greater management of rivers to alleviate flood risk. Although the impacts of river modification on fish communities are well documented, the effects of river management practices on fish behaviour have received relatively little attention. Here, a long-term (4 years) acoustic telemetry study was used to analyse the spatial–temporal behaviour of common bream in a lowland river system (River Witham, Lincolnshire, UK) in which water levels are artificially manipulated biannually as part of a flood storage strategy. Levels are lowered in the autumn and increased again in the spring, to increase in-river winter flood storage capacity. Home-range size varied according to season, with home ranges being larger in the spring and summer months in comparison with those recorded during the autumn and winter months. When water levels within the river system were artificially manipulated, the bream responded by altering their home-range size, increasing it after the levels had been raised and reducing it following the lowering of the river levels. This is in contrast to the cumulative overall distances bream were recorded to travel, which were unaffected by water level manipulation, suggesting water level manipulation did not affect activity levels. Although such changes in behaviour do not necessarily equate to a negative impact on fitness, reduced home-range size brought about by water level manipulation does have implications for habitat availability and the number of competitive, predatory and parasitic interactions encountered. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Additional Information:Online first : 17 Dec 2013
Keywords:Aquatic telemetry, Flood mitigation, Flood storage, home range, Lowland river, Water framework directive, Water level manipulation, JCNotOpen
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D443 Water Resource Management
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D431 Fish Husbandry
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:13197
Deposited On:29 Jan 2014 14:36

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