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Do instream habitat variables and the abundance of brown trout Salmo trutta (L.) affect the distribution and growth of stone loach, Barbatula barbatula (L.)?

  • Erika Nilsson
  • Anders Persson
Publishing year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 40-49
Publication/Series: Ecology of Freshwater Fish
Volume: 14
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Along a stream, we investigated whether the abundance of stone loach (Barbatula barbatula, L.) was related to the presence of brown trout (Salmo trutta, L.) and instream habitat variables. First, a field survey was carried out where different habitat variables and the densities of both species were quantified and subjected to principal components analysis. Then the abundance of stone loach was related to the scores of the retained axes (eigenvalues >1). The abundance of stone loach was positively correlated to substrate particle size, amount of shade, temperature, discharge and current velocity, but negatively correlated to brown trout abundance. Secondly, a month-long field enclosure experiment in a stream was performed to test for any negative effects of brown trout on stone loach growth. Four treatments were used: intraspecific competition (stone loach at double density), interspecific competition (stone loach + small trout), predation (stone loach + large trout) and a control (stone loach alone). The results showed that large trout tended to have negative effects on final stone loach biomass. The absence of a negative effect of large trout on resource density suggests that nonlethal effects rather than resource competition caused this trend.


  • Ecology


  • ISSN: 0906-6691
Anders Persson
E-mail: anders [dot] persson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Aquatic ecology

+46 46 222 83 67