, Volume 567, Issue 1, pp 183–194 | Cite as

Populations of ducks and trout of the River Laxá, Iceland, in relation to variation in food resources

  • Árni Einarsson
  • Arnthor Gardarsson
  • Gísli Már Gíslason
  • Gudni Gudbergsson


We examined annual variation in production, recruitment and density of the three most abundant vertebrate species of the River Laxá at Lake Mývatn, Iceland: Barrow’s goldeneye, Bucephala islandica, harlequin duck, Histrionicus histrionicus, and brown trout, Salmo trutta, in relation to food resources and other environmental variables. The study is largely based on correlations from long-term monitoring series in the period 1975–2002. Production of young in the harlequin duck was significantly correlated with food resources (the blackfly, Simulium vittatum) of the river, as was the recruitment of brown trout to the angling stock. In Barrow’s goldeneye, which uses both the lake and the river, dispersion of adults in spring and young in August was influenced by the availability of aquatic insects in each habitat. The dispersion of Barrow’s goldeneye tracks the availability of aquatic insects in each of these two main habitats. Introduced Amercian mink, Mustela vison, may have affected spring numbers and dispersion of harlequin ducks, but the evidence was not conclusive. Numbers of both duck species and the trout (as CPUE) were relatively stable, although a sharp drop in numbers followed by slow recovery was observed in Barrow’s goldeneye, and an increase was observed in harlequin ducks in the first year of study.


Histrionicus histrionicus Bucephala islandica Salmo trutta density limitation production of young Simulium vittatum long-term population monitoring 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Árni Einarsson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arnthor Gardarsson
    • 2
  • Gísli Már Gíslason
    • 2
  • Gudni Gudbergsson
    • 3
  1. 1.Mývatn Research StationMývatnIceland
  2. 2.Institute of BiologyUniversity of IcelandReykjavikIceland
  3. 3.Institute of Freshwater FisheriesReykjavikIceland

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