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Title: Can a restocking event with European (glass) eels cause early changes in local biological communities and its ecological status?
Authors: Félix, P.M.
Costa, J.L.
Monteiro, R.
Castro, N.
Quintella, B.R.
Almeida, P.R.
Domingos, I.
Keywords: Stocking
Trophic disruption
Fish species
Inland tributary
Mondego basin
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Félix, P.M.; J.L. Costa; R. Monteiro; N. Castro; B.R. Quintella; P.R. Almeida & I. Domingos (2020). Can a restocking event with European (glass) eels cause early changes in local biological communities and its ecological status? Global Ecology and Conservation, 21, e00884.
Abstract: In an attempt to assist the recovery of the panmictic population of the European eel, declining since the late 1980s, the restocking of areas with low or no natural recruitment has been one of the measures adopted to reverse this trend. However, the main focus in several monitoring programmes for these actions, has been in the best interest of its viability and cost/benefit relationships and, for that, the condition of the released stocks has been the main concern. Yet, so far, no studies have assessed the potential ecological impacts that restocking might have on other biological communities. This pioneer pilot study aimed to evaluate the early ecological impact of a restocking event on other biological communities, considering inter-specific competition (other fish species) and feeding impact (macroinvertebrates).The reference condition of the biological communities of an inland tributary of the Mondego river, the River Ceira, was determined in three sites inaccessible to the natural recruitment of eels, followed by a post-stocking assessment. The results showed no significant changes in the fish assemblages in restocked areas, contrary to the macroinvertebrate community. However, the ecological status for the macroinvertebrate community showed no deleterious effects, with the results suggesting exactly the opposite. This may be related to the low density of the restocked eels and factors influencing the local trophic web. This study confirms the suitability of the habitat for restocking with glass eels, during its early stages, without disrupting the local ecological status, using densities close to those of natural recruitment.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:BIO - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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