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Factors triggering floodplain fish emigration: importance of fish density and food availability


V. Louca, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK;


Abstract –  Emigration is a widespread phenomenon among fish species in seasonal habitats, but little is known about the factors which trigger individuals to emigrate to new habitats. In controlled experiments using Tilapia guineensis, a species widely occurring in the seasonal floodplains of West Africa, density of fish played a significant role in triggering fish migration, whereas a lack of food available caused an increase in exploratory behaviour but with no impact on successful emigration. The impact of fish density and subsequently interactions between individuals on emigration suggests that this may be an important causal factor of emigration in fish species exhibiting social interactions.

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