Seine River Demersal Habitat
This taxon is one of a number of demersal species in the Seine River system of Western Europe. Demersal river fish are found at the river bottom, feeding on benthos and zooplankton
The Marne and Yonne exhibit the greatest torrential flows, due to the percentage of their courses underlain by impermeable strata, in combination with the river gradients. Although the Loing manifests the highest percentage of impermeable strata of all the tributaries, its low gradient mitigates against torrential velocities. Thus the majority of the Seine and its tributaries exhibit a relaxed generally even flow rate.
Seine water pollutant loads of heavy metals, nutrients, sediment and bacteria are relatively high, especially influnced by wastewater and surface runoff from Paris and its suburbs. Parisian pollutant loadings are noted to be particularly high during periods of high rainfall, not only due to high runoff, but also from the inadequate sewage treatment facilities in periods of high combined wastewater/stormwater flow.
Heavy metal concentrations at Poses weir reveal the following levels: copper, 1.9 milligrams per liter; cadmium, 32 mg/l; and lead, 456 mg/l. Concentrations of zinc are also quite high, making the Seine Estuary one of the most highly contaminated estuaries in the world with respect especially to lead and cadmium. Significant amounts of toxic pollutants are also attached to sediments deposited in the Seine during the last two centuries, including mercury, nickel, chromium, toluene, DDT and a variety of herbicides and pesticides. Downriver from Paris, significant quantites of ammonium are discharged into the Seine from effluent of the Achères wastewater treatment plant.
There are a total of 37 fish species inhabiting the Seine, and another two taxa that are known to have been extirpated in modern times. Two of the largest aquatic fauna known to have lived in the Seine are now locally extinct: the 500 centimeter (cm) long sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) and the 83 cm long allis shad (Alosa alosa).
The largest extant native demersal (species living on or near the river bottom) taxa in the Seine are:
the 133 cm European eel (Anguilla anguilla);
the 150 cm northern pike (Esox lucius);
the 120 cm sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus); and,
the 152 cm Burbot (Lota lota).
Habitat and Ecology
Found in the lowland, piedmont and montane zone in clear, well oxygenated brooks. Ammocoetes live in detritus-rich sands or clay sediments.
Non-predatory, freshwater resident. Timing of spawning season depends on latitude when temperature exceeds 9C, starting in February in Italy and mid-June in Finland. Spawning individuals cease their normal daylight avoidance reaction and reproduce on sunny days. Males dig a shallow nest in habitats with moderate current. Spawners form large aggregations. Dies after spawning. Single individuals may survive until September. Ammocoetes stage usually lasts 21/2-3 1/2 years. Feeds on detritus and micro-organisms, starts metamorphosis in June-July (fully transformed individuals usually found in September), overwinters and spawns following spring. There are indications that L. planeri might be an heterogeneous (polyphyletic) assemblage of several lineages evolved independently from different populations of L. fluviatilis (see family introduction).
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Lampetra planeri
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Lampetra planeri
Public Records: 20
Specimens with Barcodes: 32
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
European Union 27 = LC. Same rationale as above.
- 2008Least Concern (LC)
- 1996Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
European brook lamprey
The brook lamprey (Lampetra planeri, also known as the European brook lamprey and the western brook lamprey) is a small European lamprey species that exclusively inhabits freshwater environments. The species is related to, but distinct from, the North American northern brook lamprey (Lampetra richardsoni).
This lamprey is the most common of the northern European species and is also the smallest. Adult brook lamprey measure from 12 to 14 cm (4.7 to 5.5 in). The very elongate body is dark blue or greenish above, lightening to yellowish off-white on the sides and pure white below. Like all lampreys these fish lack paired fins and possess a circular sucking disc instead of jaws. They have a single nostril and seven small gill openings on either side behind the eye. The teeth are blunt and they can be told from the closely related river lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis) by the fact that the two dorsal fins are more closely linked together.
Although they are found in small streams, as their name suggests, they are also found in larger rivers throughout northern Europe as well as southern France, Italy, Sardinia, the Balkans and the upper reaches of the Volga. It is also found in southeast Alaska.
Unlike most species of lamprey, the adults do not migrate to the sea and do not have a parasitic phase. Adult brook lamprey do not feed and in springtime spawn in gravel close to the soft sediment in which they were previously resident. Adult brook lamprey spawn in small groups and die soon after spawning. The eggs hatch within a few days, after which the young larvae bury themselves in soft sediment with only the mouth protruding. The young lampreys are blind filter feeders, feeding on detritus and other organic matter for three to five years before maturing. Metamorphosis begins in the third or fourth year and is complete after the maturation of the gonads. Eyes and suction disk also develops during this time, while the intestinal tract degenerates and loses its function. The full transformation can take up to a year. Thus, these fish develop their teeth precisely when they are no longer able to eat. However, lampreys have been observed gripping stones with their teeth in order to build nests, showing that the teeth do in fact have a purpose.
- "Brook lamprey: Lampetra planeri". NatureGate. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
- Animal, Smithsonian Institution, 2005
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