Paper: The effect of in-flume habituation time on estimated fish swimming performance

RIBES Early Stage Researcher Usama Ashraf, together with supervisors Claudio Comoglio, Costantino Manes and Daniel Nyqvist, all from Politecnico di Torino, recently published the paper: "The effect of in-flume habituation time and fish behaviour on estimated swimming performance".  In the abstract they write: 

"Swimming performance is important for fish migration, habitat selection, and predator-prey interaction, as well as for fish passage design. Procedural choices made when experimentally estimating it may influence the results. Systematic experiments were conducted to study the effect of different in-flume habituation times, habituation behaviour, and the use of external encouragement on burst swimming performance of Rutilus aula, a small-sized cyprinid, in a fixed velocity testing protocol. Increasing  habituation times from 30 s to 5 or 20 min substantially increased the success proportion of swimming trials and estimated fish swimming performance, with no difference between the latter two habituation times. Fish resting on the downstream grid before the start of testing velocity outperformed those who swam during habituation and transition periods. Fish swimming volitionally in response to flow at testing velocity showed a significantly improved performance compared to fish motivated by external poking. The results of this study highlight that in-flume habituation time is important, and fish behaviour before actual testing may influence the outcomes of swimming performance results."

Access the full paper here: Ashraf, M. U., Nyqvist, D., Comoglio, C., & Manes, C. (2024). The effect of in-flume habituation time and fish behaviour on estimated swimming performance. Journal of Ecohydraulics, 0(0), 1–9.

Published on: 31/01/2024