Effects of stocking density on dispersal behavior of Brazilian freshwater dourado (Salminus brasiliensis) in a subtropical river headwater

Juvenile freshwater dourados (Salminus brasiliensis Cuvier) were stocked in two batches of different size (61 and 133 individuals) with a time lag of 41 days in the headwaters of the Sinos River. A subsample of 25 fish was radio-tagged. Released juveniles displayed a density dependent dispersal pattern. During the first ten days mean covered distance of tagged batch 1 individuals (low density) was approximately 24 m d-1, while batch 2 individuals (high density) moved 296 m d-1. Activity of batch 1 fish increased after the release of batch 2 and remained high (459 m d-1) until 90 days. Activity of batch 2 fish during this period was in same range. After this period, activity levels of both batches decreased to about 60 m d-1. Increased movements in higher density condition are seen as a result of interspecific competition. The mean covered distances per day remained high until stocked individuals become established in their new habitat.

Density dependence; Dispersal; Intraspecific competition; Movements

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