River Research and Applications
This paper relates differences in flow hydraulics between a main channel (MC) and a side channel (SC) of a river to patterns of upstream migration by Neritina virginea (Neritidae: Gastropoda), a dominant diadromous snail in streams of Puerto Rico (Greater Antilles). Near-bed water velocity, snail density and shell size were measured on a weekly basis between August and December 2000 along cross-sections in a main channel (MC) and an adjacent channel (SC) under a bridge crossing of the Río Mameyes of Northeastern Puerto Rico. Near-bed velocity and water depth were used to compute Reynolds (Re) and Froude (Fr) numbers, and to classify flows within each channel. During base flow conditions (<2 m3 s−1), flow was chaotic and supercritical (Fr > 1) in the MC, and non-chaotic and subcritical (Fr < 1) in the SC. Higher mean densities (>100 ind m−2) of relatively small snails (mean ± s.d., 6.3 ± 2.8 mm) were consistently recorded in the MC. Conversely, the SC had lower mean densities (<20 ind m−2) and significantly larger snails (7.6 ± 2.4 mm). Within the MC, migratory groups preferred near-bed velocities > 0.8 m s−1. Within the SC, they preferred the channel thalweg and depths > 30 cm. The spatial arrangement that was observed between and within the channels may be related to food resources, predation pressure or biomechanics. Characteristics of preferred upstream migration pathways of N. virginea must be accounted when building road crossings in coastal streams with diadromous fauna. Published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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