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Status and distribution of the pumpkinseed sunfish ( Lepomis gibbosus ) in Bulgarian water bodies. A historical PowerPoint Presentation
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Status and distribution of the pumpkinseed sunfish ( Lepomis gibbosus ) in Bulgarian water bodies. A historical overview of his spread and recent status of the populations. Boris Velkov*, Apostolos Apostolou*. * Department of Hydrobiology Institute of Zoology

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slide1

Status and distribution of the pumpkinseed sunfish

(Lepomis gibbosus) in Bulgarian water bodies. A historical

overview of his spread and recent status of the populations.

Boris Velkov*, Apostolos Apostolou*

* Department of Hydrobiology

Institute of Zoology

Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

aims of the investigation
AIMS OF THE INVESTIGATION
  • BASED ON LITERATURE DATA, PUMPKINSEED ECOLOGY AND INVASION THEORY TO REVEAL THE HISTORICAL TRENDS AND GENERAL ASPECTS OF SPREAD AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE PUMPKINSEED
  • TO DESCRIBE AND SUMMARIZE BASIC FEATURES OF THE POPULATIONS, INHABITING DIFFERENT TYPES OF WATER BASINS IN BULGARIA.
slide3

FOREWORD ABOUT THE

  • PUMPKINSEED SUNFISH
  • Native to east and central parts of North America
  • Dominant fish species in the significant proportion of standing waters on the North-American continent
  • Introduced to Europe approximately 140 years ago (France)
  • Inhabits lakes, reservoirs, ponds, river pools. Mainly in vegetated areas.
  • Very common in Southern and Eastern parts of Europe
slide4

The spread of pumpkinseed in Bulgaria

Year of establishment

1920

1955 - 1960

1965 - 1970

1970 - 1975

1975 - 1980

1980 - 1985

1985 - 1990

1990 - 2000

2000 -

slide5

The first observation of the pumpkinseed the Svishtov marsh around 1920 (Drensky, 1920)

Danube River – the invasion highway

Since that time (and probably earlier) the pumpkinseed is present in Danube (Borcea I., 1933-1934, Drensky,1951; Marinov,1966).

About 30 – 40 years later new locations started to appear. All of them are Danube’s on-line marshes (Drensky,1951; Bulgurkov, 1958), tributaries (Karapetkova , 1972;Karapetkova and Unjian, 1988) and a reservoire (Karapetkova , 1972) .

Danube tributaries located further upstream were later found to contain pumpkinseed approximately simultaneously (Karapetkova and Dikov, 1986; Karapetkova, 1994).

After the western and the central part of northern Bulgaria were invaded by the species, came probably the first record from the Southern Bulgaria – Ovcharitsa Reservoir (Zivkov and Grupcheva, 1987).

The spread south from the Balkan/Haemus Mountain Proceeded in constantly increasing rates and many vectors. Struma/Strimon R. (Vassilev and Pehlivanov, 2002), Mesta/Nestos R. (Apostolou, 2005; pers. comm.), Arda/Ardas R. (Pehlivanov, 2000; Steffanov and Trichkova, 2004). The first observation of the pumpkinseed in Maritsa/Evros R. and Tundja R. in the literature in unclear, according to many personal communications with colleagues and fisherman however the period is the same (in 80s and 90s).

slide6

Probably the area, which was most recently included in the areal is North-Eastern part of Bulgaria (pers. observ., pers. comm.). Although close in Geographic terms it is very isolated hydrologically, with low density of river network, low number of standing water bodies and rivers, running dry in summer.

The latest Bulgarian watershed invaded by the pumpkinseed was Black Sea watershed,

except Kamchiya River probably (Vassilev, M. 1999). Here also Isolation between the watersheds played role. There are no published materials, concerning pumpkinseed in Black Sea rivers and Lakes, except Kamchia R.. Personal communications revealed that the pumpkinseed recently invaded many of the Black Sea lakes, Shabla, Durankulak (Stefanov, pers. comm.), Varna and Bourgas lakes, Mouths of almost all of the Black sea rivers for example.

Probably the last rivers, where the fish is not present yet are the southernmost Veleka and Rezovska.

slide7

Recent distribution of pumpkinseed sunfish in Bulgaria:

All plane- and middle-mountain reservoirs

Mountain lakes (Smolyan Lakes)

Black Sea coastal lakes

Huge majority of the microdams (approx. 1500 in Bulgaria).

The majority of Danube tributaries, Aegean and Black sea rivers

(middle and lower stretches).

Mouths of larger Black sea Rivers, Black Sea coastal lakes

Not present in:

The majority of high altitude reservoirs and Lakes (Smolyan lakes) exceptional

Upper and usually middle stretches of the rivers

Standing water bodies which run dry periodically

Some controlled water bodies used for aquaculture

spread summary
Spread summary
  • In Danube watershed much slower dispersal (upstream, less anthropogenic influence at that moment, less fish stocking activities).
  • In the Aegean watershed very intensive dispersal (downstream, high levels of habitat modifications and other human induced factors, intensive and uncontrolled stockings).
  • Landscape obstacles, watershed factors and patch density important to the intensity and direction of spread.
  • Anthropogenic influence extremely important
slide9

Main types of Water bodies, where pumpkinseed populations occur:

Marshes and microdams :

  • Small sized.
  • Usually high variation of basic environmental parameters
  • Usually highly vegetated
  • Comparatively poor community, crucian carp and eurasian perch are the most common .
  • Mosquito fish, roach, false harlequin, carp also often found
slide10

Large and medium sized reservoirs:

  • More stable conditions in terms of temperature, oxygen concentrations.
  • High variation of the water levels, hence less developed emergent vegetation
  • Larger variety of fish species: Eurasian perch, crucian carp, bleak, chub often co occur
  • with the pumpkinseed.
role of the reservoirs and micro dams in dispersal of pumpkinseed
Role of the reservoirs and micro dams in dispersal of pumpkinseed
  • “CONTAINERS”, which support abundant populations and provide propagules for further spread.
  • Their locations in the landscape schedule and patchiness are important for the intensity of the invasion processes.
  • They are objects of fish stockings, which so far are the most important way for the spread.
slide12

Rivers:

Riverine habitats are not typical for the

pumpkinseed.

Lower and middle stretches of larger rivers

however can provide suitable conditions

and were found to contain pumpkinseeds.

The accomplishment of the entire life

cycle of this species in rivers is doubtful,

because of spawning and incubation

requirements and the vulnerability of larvae

and young-of-the-year.

Although ripe fish were found in riverine habitats, actual breeding was not confirmed so far in rivers.

High mortality rates among young-of-

The-year sunfishes were found as result of floods, during years with low and moderate discharge (Jennings and Phillip1994).

Furthermore in rivers pumpkinseeds are found more often in locations below or next to standing waters, connected to the river.

slide13

Pumpkinseed and bluegill sunfish (close congener of the pumpkinseed) were found to be rather sedentary in lotic Environments(< 100m relocation in three month) (Gatz et al. 1994)

On rare occasion however they can move up- and downstream at distances as long as

17 km.

True Riverine populations (breeding successfully in rivers) actually have not been confirmed so far. The fish originate from the adjacent standing waters

Rivers however are extremely important as a corridors for movement and transportation especially when floods or high waters occur.

PUMPKINSEED SPREAD

RESERVOIRS

MICRODAMS

RIVERS

CONTAINERS

MULTIPLIERS

HOTSPOTS

HIGHWAYS

VEINS

slide14

Mesta / Nestos River

Before 1994 no pumpkinseed was present

in the River of Mesta / Nestos (Apostolou, pers.comm.)

In 1997 and 2005 fish samples were

collected near the city of Gotse Delthev.

During both of the samplings abundant pumpkinseed populations were found.

BALKAN PENINSULA

MESTA / NESTOS RIVER

slide15

Locations of the other Investigated pumpkinseed populations

Yasen 1 and 2

serbia

Samoranovo microdam

stojkovci res.

St. kladenets res.

Kardjali res.

slide16

The samples from Mesta/Nestos were collected from the on-line micro dam, next to the river and in the river below the micro dam.

slide17

Species composition of the catch from Mesta/Nestos River near the city of Gotse Delchev, South-western Bulgaria

Both samples had the pumpkinseed dominating.

Other numerous species were perch, which is translocated to the river, false harlequin– another alien species, roach and chub.

Below 500 m downstream the micro dam we did not find pumpkinseed sunfish.

slide18

Size structure of the pumpkinseed population in

Mesta/Nestos River

Mean size of the fish was larger in 2005, than in 1997 (93.7 vs. 73.6 mm)

A highly probable explanation is the “youth” of the population in 1997, therefore

composed by younger and respectively smaller fish.

slide19

SIZE STRUCTURE OF THE INVESTIGATED POPULATIONS

MESTA/NESTOS

RESERVOIRS

MICRODAMS

SIZE GROUP, mm

SIZE GROUP, mm

slide20

Size at age of pumkinseed populations from Mesta/Nestos R. and other

locations in Bulgaria

ST. KLADENETS RES.

MESTA/NESTOS1997

2005

KARDJALI RES.

STANDARD LENGTH, mm

STOJKOVCI RES.

YASEN MARSH

MICRO

AGE, years

slide21

Growth summary

  • The growth of the pumpkinseed from Mesta/Nestos population is among the fastest of known Bulgarian populations.
  • Up to age two the fish grow largest, compared to other water bodies, included in this study.
  • The growth is similar to the populations of large reservoirs
  • The investigated micro-dams and marshes had lower growth parameters
slide22

Age structure of populations from different types of water bodies

Percent composition

Age group

  • Marshes/microdams:
  • Lower number of age groups
  • The youngest and the oldest age groups
  • poorly represented
  • Mortality low after 1+
  • Large and middle-sized reservoirs
  • Relatively many age groups
  • Consistent mortality among age groups
  • Abundant and stable recruitment
  • Rivers (Mesta / Nestos R.)
  • Poor young of the year
  • Older fish well represented
  • Relatively consistent mortality
trans boundary issues
Trans-boundary issues
  • The Mesta / Nestos pumpkinsed population, as well as other Aegean rivers is fully capable of producing “fish spores”, ready to be carried downstream and to gain new waters. There is nothing new. The pumpkinseed, the false harlequin, the bighead carp, the grass carp already inhabit Greek waters (Economidis et al., 2000).
  • It is a fact, that the pumpkinseed sunfish have already been established and naturalized in Bulgarian waters. We must learn however the ecological lessons and to cooperate in the name of our Environment.
slide25

References

Bulgurkov, К. 1958Hydrological peculiarities of the Lake srebarna Reserve and its fish composition. Proceedings of the Institute of Zoology. , 7: 251 - 263.

Vasssilev, M., L. Pehlivanov 2002 The ichthyofauna of the Bulgarian part of the Struma River (In Bulgarian, English summary)Historia Naturalis Bulgarica 14: 103-108

Zivkov, M. 1987 Ichthyofauna and fishery of the Dospat Reservoir. Hydrobiology30:15-22

Zivkov, M., G. Grupcheva 1987. Hydrochemical condition, the ichthyofauma formation and fishery of the Ovcharitsa cooling reservoir.Hydrobiology 30: 23-36

Karapetkova, M.., 1972Ichthyofauna of the Yantra River Proceedings of the Institute of Zoology36: 149-182

Karapetkova, M. and C. Dikov 1986, On the composition, distribution, density and biomass of the Vit River Ichthyofauna. Hydrobiology 28: 14-34.

Karapetkova, M. E.H. Undjian 1988. Ichthyofauna of the Roussenski Lom Hydrobiology, 32: 44-49.

Apostolou Apostolos, 2005. The ichthyofauna from the Bulgarian Sector of the Mesta River. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica, 57(2): 191-196.

Borcea I., 1933-1934 Sur la presence du Poisson soleil americain (Eup. Gibbosus) dans le bas DanubeAnnales Sciens. Nat. de Jassi, 19: 232-235

Drenski, P. 1920. A new fish species from the Svishtov marsh. Agricultural Reports. 5: 11.

Drenski P.1951. The fishes in Bulgaria. Bulgarian Academy of Science.

Economidis PS, Dımıtrıou E, Pagoni R, Michaloudi E, Natsis L (2000) Introduced and translocated fish species in the inland waters of Greece. Fish Manage Ecol 7:239–250

Schaefer, Jacob F., William I. Lutterschmidt, Loren G. Hill, 1999 Physiological performance and stream microhabitat use by the centrarchidsLepomis megalotis and Lepomis macrochirus. Environmental Biology of Fishes 54: 303–312

Stefanov, T., T. Trichkova 2004, Fish species diversity in the Eastern Rhodopes (Bulgaria). Beron, P. and A. Popov (Eds.) Biodiversity of Bulgaria 2. Biodiversity of Eastern Rhodopes (Bulgaria and Greece) Pensoft & Nat Mus. Nat. Hist., Sofia

Gatz, A. J.Jr. and Adams, S. M.: 1994,Patterns of Movement of Centrarchids in Two Warmwater Streams in Eastern Tennessee, Ecology of Freshwater Fish 3, 35–48.

slide26

Jennings, M.J. & D.P. Philip. 1994. Biotic and abiotic factorsaffecting survival of early life history intervals of a streamdwellingsunfish. Env. Biol. Fish. 39: 153–159

Karapetkova, M., 1994. Vertebrate animals. In: Russev, B. (Ed.), Limnology of the Bulgarian Danube tributaries. Book tiger, Sofia: 175-186.

Marinov, B., 1966 On the ichthyofauna of the Bulgarian stretch of the Danube River.Proceedings of the Institute of Zoology and Museum. 20: 139-155.

Pehlivanov, L. 2000. Ichthyofauna of the East Rhodopes (South Bulgaria): Composition and Distribution. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica, 52(3): 45-53.

Vassilev, M. 1999 Changes of ichthyofauna in the Lesenski and the Mazen Marshes (Kamchia Reserve, Bulgaria),Acta Zoologica Bulgarica, 51(1): 57-60.