Eel Biology pp 191-213 | Cite as

A Review of Upstream Migration and Movements in Inland Waters by Anguillid Eels: Toward a General Theory

  • Eric Feunteun
  • Pascal Laffaille
  • Tony Robinet
  • Cèdric Briand
  • Aurore Baisez
  • Jean-Michel Olivier
  • Antony Acou


Anguillid eels are well known as catadromous highly migratory species, with marine spawning grounds well separated from inshore and inland growth areas. However, invasion mechanisms of river systems are poorly documented. This theory is based upon the identification of four distinct movement behaviors: „founders“ that colonize rivers until they settle in the first available suitable habitat they encounter; „pioneers“ that migrate upstream to the upper boundaries of the system; „home range dwellers“ that establish in a given area for several months to several years; and „nomads;“ which are erratic eels that perform a general upstream shift as they search for suitable areas to forage or to settle. These behaviors are not mutually exclusive, any eel shifting from one behavior to another, depending upon ontogenetic attributes (age, experience, morphology, physiological stage, etc.), population parameters that determine density-dependent movements; and environmental parameters such as food availability, temperature, flow, and the carrying capacity of the ecosystem.


Home Range River System Upstream Migration Home Range Behavior English Channel Coast 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Feunteun
    • 1
  • Pascal Laffaille
    • 1
  • Tony Robinet
    • 1
  • Cèdric Briand
    • 2
  • Aurore Baisez
    • 3
  • Jean-Michel Olivier
    • 4
  • Antony Acou
    • 1
  1. 1.LBEMUniversity of La RochelleLa RochelleFrance
  2. 2.Institut d’Aménagement de la VilaineLa Roche BernardFrance
  3. 3.CEMAGREFBordeauxFrance
  4. 4.Université de LyonLyonFrance

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