[en] Mobility ; Home range ; Small benthic species ; PIT-tag ; Telemetry ; Cottus ; restricted movement paradigm ; Belgium
[en] From February 2006 to June 2007, we followed the movement patterns of the Rhine sculpin (Cottus rhenanus) by combining short-term radio-telemetry (n = 10 radio-tagged sculpin with a miniature 0.5-g transmitter) and long-term individual (PIT-tag) mark-recapture (n = 452 PIT-tagged sculpin during six removal electric fishing operations) studies in a small tributary of the River Meuse, Belgium. During a 25- to 27-day period, the radio-tracked sculpin displayed various mobility patterns, showing frequent movement from one day to another and longitudinal home ranges from 7 to 46 m, with cumulative distances up to 149 m. During the mark-recapture study, most (99%) recaptured PIT-tagged individuals moved from their original 5-m long site, subsequently using longitudinal home ranges between 5 and 435 m (mean, 50 m; median, 20 m). The most common movement behaviour was alternation between upstream and downstream movements (62%), followed by directional upstream (26%) and directional downstream (11%) movement. Using the latest available techniques, this study builds on the current knowledge on the Cottus genus and closes gaps in the comprehension of sculpin movement and home range at a scale that had not been investigated to date.