SEAWARD DRIFT OF THE PONTIC SHAD LARVAE (ALOSA PONTICA) AND THE INFLUENCE OF DANUBE RIVER HYDROLOGY ON THEIR TRAVEL PATH THROUGH THE DANUBE DELTA SYSTEM.
The Pontic shad lives in the northwestern part of the Black Sea. It migrates in the Danube River for spawning. The larvae drift passively towards the sea when they reach the life stage ranging from pre-larvae to post-larvae. During the larval stage the Pontic shad is floating, mainly in the 0-50 cm upper layer of river. Upstream of the Danube Delta, in the straight sector of the river, alosids are distributed mostly towards the middle of the river, where the water velocity is higher. In the curved section of the river, upstream of the location of the Danube River splitting in the delta’s branches, the water current is outwardly pushing the shad larvae to the right shore, the Romanian, respectively. Therefore, Tulcea branch (Romanian) takes over 60-80 % from the total of Danubian larvae, even its water flow is smaller (40 %) than Chilia branch (the border of Romania and Ukraine). The distribution of larvae at the splitting point influences the repartition of adult migratory catch, at return for spawning, between Saint George branch (Romania) and Chilia branch. Consequently, the topography and hydrology of the river at the splitting point of the branceh which form the delta decide on the distribution of larvae, and later, when the shads are homing on the same way for spawning the sharing catch between Romania and Ukraine.
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Mots clés :
Pontic shad, larvae, drifting, distribution, homing, Danube River, alose de la mer Noire, larves, dérive, distribution, Danube, homing