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Modrej, Slovenia

Vincenzi S.,University of Parma | Crivelli A.J.,Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat | Jesensek D.,Tolmin Angling Association | De Leo G.A.,University of Parma
Ecology of Freshwater Fish | Year: 2010

Density-dependent body growth has often been observed in freshwater salmonid populations. Several studies suggest this compensatory pattern as a potential mechanism of population regulation. The choice of the spatial scale is important for the detection of density-dependent growth, as study areas need to be of the appropriate size to capture the density of conspecifics actually experienced by individuals over the preceding growth period. Here, we used four marble trout (Salmo marmoratus) populations (Gatsnik, Gorska, Huda and Zakojska) living in Slovenian stream to study the relationships between early density of marble trout and subsequent body growth. As streams are divided in sectors delimited by natural barriers that prevent or strongly limit movement of individuals, we tested the relationship between early density and body size through the lifetime at two spatial scales, that is, sector level (for Gatsnik and Zakojska) and whole stream level (the four populations were pooled). Sector length in Gatsnik and Zakojska ranged from 113 to 516 m. At both sector and whole stream level, temporal data were pooled. Growth declined significantly with increasing density both at the sector and whole stream levels, and the density-dependent relationship was described by negative power curves. However, at the sector level the density-dependent pattern was stronger in Gatsnik, a stream in which fish could move across sectors, than in Zakojska, where upstream movement across sectors is prevented by waterfalls. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source

Vincenzi S.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Crivelli A.J.,Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat | Jesensek D.,Tolmin Angling Association | de Leo G.A.,University of Parma
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries | Year: 2012

Translocation programs are a common strategy to increase the number of viable populations of threatened freshwater fishes. Yet, only in a minority of cases the success or failure of translocations has been assessed through a quantitative analysis of demographic traits, compensatory responses, life-histories and population dynamics of the threatened species. A paradigmatic case a translocation program combining both management- and research-oriented activities is represented by the Marble Trout Conservation Program, which started in 1993 in the upper reaches of the Soca, Idirjca and Baca river basins (Slovenia) for the conservation of stream-dwelling marble trout Salmo marmoratus. In order to enhance the viability of the species, two new populations were created in 1996 by stocking 500 marble trout aged 1+ in previously fishless streams (Gorska and Zakojska) within the core habitat of the species. The new populations have been systematically monitored for 15 years by individually tagging and sampling marble trout. Our analyses show that deterministic extinction of marble trout populations are unlikely and that high-magnitude environmental stochasticity (i.e., severe floods) is the only main cause of local population extinction, despite the high resilience to flood-induced massive mortalities exhibited by marble trout through compensatory mechanisms (e.g., relaxation of density-dependent body growth and survival at low densities). Fishless headwaters, probably characterized by a history of recurrent severe floods, should not be considered as candidate sites for the creation of new populations. Fewer individuals than originally reintroduced (i.e., 500 fish aged 1+ in each stream) might be sufficient to establish viable populations, since compensatory mechanisms are likely to regulate population size around stream carrying capacity in a few years. Besides enhancing the species viability, translocation programs can provide an excellent framework for the estimation of ecological traits (e.g., life-histories, demography, population dynamics etc.), identify potential vulnerabilities and thus guide well-formed management actions for the threatened species. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Vincenzi S.,University of Parma | Crivelli A.J.,Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat | Jesensek D.,Tolmin Angling Association | Rossi G.,University of Parma | De Leo G.A.,University of Parma
Naturwissenschaften | Year: 2011

To understand the consequences of the invasion of the nonnative rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss on the native marble trout Salmo marmoratus, we compared two distinct headwater sectors where marble trout occur in allopatry (MTa) or sympatry (MTs) with rainbow trout (RTs) in the Idrijca River (Slovenia). Using data from field surveys from 2002 to 2009, with biannual (June and September) sampling and tagging from June 2004 onwards, we analyzed body growth and survival probabilities of marble trout in each stream sector. Density of age-0 in September over the study period was greater for MTs than MTa and very similar between MTs and RTs, while density of trout ≥age-1 was similar for MTa and MTs and greater than density of RTs. Monthly apparent survival probabilities were slightly higher in MTa than in MTs, while RTs showed a lower survival than MTs. Mean weight of marble and rainbow trout aged 0+ in September was negatively related to cohort density for both marble and rainbow trout, but the relationship was not significantly different between MTs and MTa. No clear depression of body growth of sympatric marble trout between sampling intervals was observed. Despite a later emergence, mean weight of RTs cohorts at age 0+ in September was significantly higher than weight of both MTs and MTa. The establishment of a self-sustaining population of rainbow trout does not have a significant impact on body growth and survival probabilities of sympatric marble trout. The numerical dominance of rainbow trout in streams at lower altitudes seem to suggest that while the low summer flow pattern of Slovenian streams is favorable for rainbow trout invasion, the adaptation of marble trout to headwater environments may limit the invasion success of rainbow trout in headwaters. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

Simcic T.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Jesensek D.,Tolmin Angling Association | Brancelj A.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology
Fish Physiology and Biochemistry | Year: 2015

Climate change may result in future alterations in thermal regime which could markedly affect the early developmental stages of cold water fish due to their expected high sensitivity to increasing temperature. In the present study, the effect of temperature increase of 2, 4 and 6 °C on the oxygen consumption rate (R), the activity of respiratory electron transport system (ETS) and oxidative stress have been studied in four developmental stages of the marble trout (Salmo marmoratus)—eyed eggs, yolk-sac larvae and juveniles of 1 and 3 months. Oxygen consumption rate and ETS activity increased with level of development and with temperature in all four stages. ETS/R ratios decreased during development and correlated with temperature in eyed eggs, larvae and juveniles of 1 month, but not in juveniles of 3 months. Low ETS/R ratios at higher temperatures indicate stress response in eyed eggs, the most temperature sensitive developmental stage. Catalase (CAT) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities increased during development, but responded differently to elevated temperature in the different developmental stages. Stress in eyed eggs, caused by higher temperatures, resulted in increased oxygen consumption rate and increased activities of CAT and GR. Larvae were sensitive to increased temperature only at the highest experimental temperature of 16 °C. Increased temperature did not stress the metabolism of the juveniles, since they were able to compensate their metabolic activity. The earlier developmental stages of marble trout are thus more sensitive to temperature increase than juveniles and therefore more endangered by higher water temperatures. This is the first report connecting oxygen consumption, ETS activity and ETS/R ratio with the activities of antioxidant enzymes in relation to increased temperature in salmonids. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Simcic T.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Jesensek D.,Tolmin Angling Association | Brancelj A.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology
Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2015

The size and composition of fish eggs are related to female’s characteristics, such as age, size and individual conditions, and they have an impact on the properties of offspring that are important for their fitness. Electron transport system (ETS) activity and respiration rate (R) of early life history stages (i.e. non-fertilized eggs, eggs at eyed stage and larvae with yolk sac) of 13 females of marble trout (Salmo marmoratus) were measured separately in order to determine their metabolic properties in relation to size. The results showed that larger females produced larger eggs in higher numbers. Growth experiments on the survival of offspring of a single female revealed that the survival rate of early embryos was higher for smaller eggs during the earliest stages, but ultimately the percentage of surviving larvae did not correlate with egg size. The ETS activities and respiration rates of non-fertilized eggs, eyed eggs and larvae differed significantly between 13 females. Both parameters increased with increasing dry mass of the early life history stages, but the increase of respiration rate was greater than that of ETS activity. The lower ETS/R ratios in larger individuals therefore indicate that their energy metabolism was less adaptable to environmental changes than that of smaller ones. Larger egg size could be an advantage under favourable conditions, whereas smaller size could be optimal under stressing circumstances in which the higher metabolic potential enables production of the energy required for metabolism. This is first report on the relationship between ETS activity and respiration rate of the early life history stages in salmonids. © Published by Central Fisheries Research Institute (CFRI) Trabzon, Turkey. Source

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