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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

06/01/2016: Fish ladders promote genetic exchange

http://phys.org/news/2016-01-fish-ladders-genetic-exchange.html
Chub (and dace) (Image: artvintage1800s.etsy.com)
Hydroelectric power plants, weirs and waterfalls are often insurmountable barricades for fish, Phys.org reports.  

This can have a significant impact on the genetic structure of the separate populations. Whether and to what extent fish ladders mitigate this negative effect is now being investigated for the first time. An Eawag research team studying the chub species has been able to show that fish ladders do indeed promote genetic exchange between different populations. The effects of the barriers cannot, however, be completely negated.

The chub is one of the most common fish in Swiss waters, but its name is practically unknown to the general public. And yet this cyprinid fish, which can grow as large as 40 to 50 centimetres in length, can very often be seen close to the river bank, in waterways such as the Schanzengraben, – a picturesque canal in the city of Zurich, or near the Rhine Falls from the small bridge to the restaurant overlooking the river – the Schlössli Wörth. With its bony flesh, the chub seldom makes it to the dining table and so its low economic value is science's gain.

Read the full article HERE.

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