The role of dispersal and retention in the early life stages of shrimp in a lowland river

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This study investigated the importance of dispersal and retention processes during early ontogeny for three caridean shrimp species that complete their entire life history in freshwater. Directional traps were used to examine the small-scale movement patterns of shrimp into and out of nursery habitat patches (slackwaters) in a small lowland river in southeastern Australia. Movement patterns provided evidence for two contrasting life history based dispersal and retention strategies. For the two smaller atyid species, Paratya australiensis and Caridina mccullochi, the majority of larvae remained within the slackwater in which they were hatched until the final stage of development, at which point dispersal, either among slackwaters or out of slackwaters to faster-flowing pool and run habitats, occurred. For the larger palaemonid species, Macrobrachium australiense, larvae were hatched into slackwaters and dispersal occurred predominately during the first stage of larval development and then decreased as development progressed. Despite the differences in dispersal strategies among species, movement was mostly associated with a particular larval stage and thus emphasizes the importance of retention during critical developmental periods and of the potential impact that flow alteration could have on these and other species with similar life histories
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-729
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


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