In this laboratory study, we quantified substrate selection by small (<50 mm) and large (100–150 mm) ammocoetes of the least brook lamprey (Lampetra aepyptera). In aquaria, ammocoetes were given a choice to burrow into six equally-available substrate types: small gravel (2.360–4.750 mm), coarse sand (0.500–1.400 mm), fine sand (0.125–0.500 mm), organic substrate (approximately 70% decomposing leaves/stems and organic sediment particles, and 30% silt and fine sand), an even mixture of silt, clay, and fine sand, and silt/clay (<0.063 mm). Fine sand was selected with a significantly higher probability than any other substrate. Fine sand habitat is limited in many streams, in part owing to geology, but also as a result of channelization and excessive silt/clay sedimentation, which is a conservation concern. Our results indicate that ammocoetes of least brook lampreys are habitat specialists that prefer fine sand habitat. Hence, availability of fine sand habitat may limit distributions and population sizes.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Selection and preference of benthic habitat by small and large Ammocoetes of the Least Brook Lamprey (Lampetra aepyptera)|
|Series title||Environmental Biology of Fishes|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Leetown|
|Online Only (Y/N)||N|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|