Stoll, Stefan

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A mesocosm experiment investigating the effects of substratum quality and wave exposure on the survival of fish eggs

2010, Stoll, Stefan, Probst, Wolfgang Nikolaus, Eckmann, Reiner, Fischer, Philipp

In a mesocosm experiment, the attachment of bream (Abramis brama) eggs to spawning substrata with and without periphytic biofilm coverage and their subsequent survival with and without low-intensity wave exposure were investigated. Egg attachment was reduced by 73% on spawning substrata with a natural periphytic biofilm, compared to clean substrata. Overall, this initial difference in egg numbers persisted until hatching. The difference in egg numbers was even increased in the wave treatment, while it was reduced in the no-wave control treatment. Exposure to a low-intensity wave regime affected egg development between the two biofilm treatments differently. Waves enhanced egg survival on substrata without a biofilm but reduced the survival of eggs on substrata with biofilm coverage. In the treatment combining biofilm-covered substrata and waves, no attached eggs survived until hatching. In all treatments, more than 75% of the eggs became detached from the spawning substrata during the egg incubation period, and


Lake water level increase during spring affects the breeding success of bream Abramis brama (L.)

2009, Probst, Wolfgang Nikolaus, Stoll, Stefan, Peters, Lars, Fischer, Philipp, Eckmann, Reiner

In Lake Constance, Eurasian bream Abramis brama (L.) spawn in very shallow littoral areas by the beginning of May. They attach their adhesive eggs to pebble and cobble substratum at 40 cm depth. Increasing water levels before spawning inundate bare substratum to which bream eggs may attach better than to deeper substratum covered by epilithon. Consequently, the water level increase prior to spawning should determine the amount of pristine spawning substratum available to bream and thus influence their breeding success. In order to test this hypothesis, the influence of hydrology and climate on the abundance of age-0 bream was combined with the results from field investigations on the egg survival and abundance of age-0 bream. A strong positive correlation between the mean water level increase during the spawning season of bream (April May) and the abundance of juvenile bream was found. In contrast, the absolute water level during spawning and during the nursery stage in summer, the cumulative temperature during the egg, larval and juvenile stages and two North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) indices did not affect the abundance of juvenile bream. The field investigations confirmed that bream eggs attach better to and have higher survival rates on bare substratum than on substratum with epilithon cover. Accordingly, eggs within a spawning habitat of bream were most abundant between 10 and 20 cm depth, where the epilithon cover was lower than at depths exceeding 30 cm. The results of this study confirm an adverse influence of epilithon cover on the attachment and subsequent survival of bream eggs and emphasize the importance of spring inundations for the successful breeding of the bream.


Spawning site selection by Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) in relation to temperature and wave exposure

2009, Probst, Wolfgang Nikolaus, Stoll, Stefan, Hofmann, Hilmar, Fischer, Philipp, Eckmann, Reiner

The selection of spawning depth by Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis was investigated in an experiment using artificial substrata in Lake Constance during the spawning season of 2007. The experiment compared spawning behaviour at substrata between 0.5 and 15 m depth at two sites exposed to different regimes of ship-generated wave action. The total abundance of egg ribbons did not differ significantly between the two sites, but the preferred spawning depth was deeper at the wave exposed site (5 m) compared to the sheltered site (2 m). While water temperatures could not account for the observations, differences in wave exposure may explain the different spawning depth preferences. At both sites, large egg ribbons were generally found in deeper water, and large egg ribbons occurred more frequently at the sheltered site. Because the egg ribbons of perch are likely to have a size-dependent susceptibility to hydrodynamic stress, large females may be expected to select deeper spawning locations where the effects of surface waves are considerably attenuated.