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Title: Influence of macrohabitat preferences on the distribution of European brook and river lampreys: Implications for conservation and management
Authors: Ferreira, Ana Filipa
Quintella, Bernardo R.
Maia, Carla
Mateus, Catarina
Alexandre, Carlos
Capinha, César
Almeida, Pedro R.
Keywords: Predictive model
Lampetra planeri
L. fluviatilis
Boosted Regression Trees
Threatened species
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Ferreira, A.F., B.R. Quintella, C. Maia, C.S. Mateus, C.M. Alexandre, C. Capinha & P.R. Almeida (2013). Influence of macrohabitat preferences on the distribution of European brook and river lampreys: Implications for conservation and management. Biological Conservation, 159: 175–186.
Abstract: The European river lamprey, Lampetra fluviatilis (L.), and the European brook lamprey, Lampetra planeri (Bloch, 1784), are considered highly threatened in Portugal. However, the lack of information about the ecology and distribution of these species poses difficulties to the identification of concrete actions directed to their conservation. A total of 401 sampling sites, randomly distributed throughout the entire Portuguese mainland territory were selected, and Lampetra sp. ammocoetes presence or absence checked with electrofishing. These data, together with 11 macrohabitat predictors, were analyzed using Boosted Regression Trees (BRTs). The BRT models consistently identified five environmental variables as the most important for predicting the distribution of European brook and river lamprey ammocoetes: altitude, distance to coast, sand, maximum temperature of the warmest month and precipitation of the driest month. The relationships of these variables with the species probability of occurrence suggest that lampreys occur in low altitude river stretches (<170 m), relatively close to the coast (<150 km) and with a sandy substrate (>70% sand). In addition, intermediate values of temperature and precipitation were also found to have a positive correlation with the species occurrence. A map with the probability of occurrence of Lampetra sp. in Portugal was generated and stretches of rivers were delimited with different conservation priorities. Rivers classified with the highest level of conservation priority were considered to be proposed as Special Areas of Conservation, under the Natura 2000 Networking Programme.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:BIO - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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