Measurement of suction pressure dynamics of sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus

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Species-specific monitoring activities represent fundamental tools for natural resource management and conservation but require techniques that target species-specific traits or markers. Sea lamprey, a destructive invasive species in the Laurentian Great Lakes and conservation target in North America and Europe, is among very few fishes that possess and use oral suction, yet suction has not been exploited for sea lamprey control or conservation. Knowledge of specific characteristics of sea lamprey suction (e.g., amplitude, duration, and pattern of suction events; hereafter ‘suction dynamics’) may be useful to develop devices that detect, record, and respond to the presence of sea lamprey at a given place and time. Previous observations were limited to adult sea lampreys in static water. In this study, pressure sensing panels were constructed and used to measure oral suction pressures and describe suction dynamics of juvenile and adult sea lampreys at multiple locations within the mouth and in static and flowing water. Suction dynamics were largely consistent with previous descriptions, but more variation was observed. For adult sea lampreys, suction pressures ranged from –0.6 kPa to –26 kPa with 20 s to 200 s between pumps at rest, and increased to –8 kPa to –70 kPa when lampreys were manually disengaged. An array of sensors indicated that suction pressure distribution was largely uniform across the mouths of both juvenile and adult lampreys; but some apparent variation was attributed to obstruction of sensing portal holes by teeth. Suction pressure did not differ between static and flowing water when water velocity was lower than 0.45 m/s. Such information may inform design of new systems to monitor behavior, distribution and abundance of lampreys.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Measurement of suction pressure dynamics of sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus
Series title PLoS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0247884
Volume 16
Issue 4
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher PLoS
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description e0247884, 18 p.
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