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J Fish Biol. 2009 Jun;74(9):1891-914. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2009.02298.x.

Estimates of the mortality and the duration of the trans-Atlantic migration of European eel Anguilla anguilla leptocephali using a particle tracking model.

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Agrocampus Ouest, UMR 985 INRA-Agrocampus Ouest Ecologie et Santé des Ecosystèmes, Laboratoire d'Ecologie Halieutique, Rennes Cedex, France.


Using Lagrangian simulations, based on circulation models over three different hydroclimatic periods in the last 45 years in the North Atlantic Ocean, the trans-Atlantic migration of the European eel Anguilla anguilla leptocephali was simulated via the passive drift of particles released in the spawning area. Three different behaviours were modelled: drifting at fixed depth, undergoing a vertical migration or choosing the fastest currents. Simulations included mortality hypotheses to estimate a realistic mean migration duration and relative survival of A. anguilla larvae. The mean migration duration was estimated as 21 months and the mortality rate as 3.8 per year, i.e. < 0.2% of A. anguilla larvae may typically survive the trans-Atlantic migration.

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