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Aquaculture, conservation and restoration of anadromous fish populations of River Rhine with particular regard to the re-introduction of the Allis shad Alosa alosa

  • The largest population of the anadromous Allis shad (A. alosa) of the 19th century was found in River Rhine and has to be considered extinct today. To facilitate the return of A. alosa into River Rhine an EU LIFE-project was initiated in 2007. The overall objective of this thesis was to assist aquaculture and stocking-measures at River Rhine, as well as to support restoration and conservation of populations of Allis shad in Europe. By culturing the free-swimming nematode T. aceti in a solution of cider vinegar we developed a cost-effective live food organism for the larviculture of fish. As indicated by experiments with C. maraena, T. aceti cannot be regarded as an alternative to Artemia nauplii. However it has to be considered a suitable supplemental feed in the early rearing of C. maraena by providing essential fatty acids, thereby optimizing growth. Also mass-marking practices with Oxytetracycline, as they are applied in the restocking of Allis shad have been evaluated. In experiments with D. rerio we demonstrated that water hardness can detrimentally affect mortality during marking and has to be considered crucial in the development of marking protocols for freshwater fish. In order to get independent from wild spawners an ex-situ Broodstock-facility for Allis shad was established in 2011. Upon examination of two complete year classes of this broodstock, we found a high prevalence of various malformations, which could be traced back to distinct cysts developing one month post hatch. Despite applying a variety of clinical tests we could not identify any infectious agents causing these malformations. The observed malformations are probably a consequence of suboptimal feeding practices or the properties of the physio-chemical rearing environment. The decline of stocks of A. alosa in Europe has been largely explained with the increase of river temperatures as a consequence of global warming. By investigating the temperature physiology of larval Allis shad we demonstrated that A. alosa ranges among the most thermo-tolerant species in Europe and that correlations between rising temperatures and the disappearance of this species have to be understood in a synecological context and by integrating a variety of stressors other than temperature. By capturing and examining juvenile and adult Allis shad from River Rhine, we demonstrated the first natural reproduction of A. alosa in River Rhine since nearly 100 years and the success of stocking measures within the framework of the LIFE project.

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Author:Matthias Hundt
Advisor:René Gergs, Bela H. Buck
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2016/02/29
Date of publication:2016/02/29
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz-Landau, Universitätsbibliothek
Granting institution:Universität Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau, Fachbereich 7
Date of final exam:2015/10/10
Release Date:2016/03/01
GND Keyword:Bedrohte Tiere; Maifisch; Rhein; Wanderfische
Number of pages:69
Institutes:Fachbereich 7 / Institut für Umweltwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG