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SEM images reveal intraspecific differences in egg surface properties of common nase (Chondrostoma nasus L.)

Christoffer Nagel, Christina Spiessl, Joachim Pander, Juergen Geist
Journal of applied ichthyology 2021 v.37 no.5 pp. 770-778
Chondrostoma nasus, adhesion, egg quality, eggs, freshwater fish, ichthyology, multivariate analysis, protocols, rheophilic species, stickiness, surface quality
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has been widely used to describe interspecific differences in egg quality of teleost freshwater fish, but potential intraspecific differences are poorly studied. Eggs of many rheophilic cyprinids are covered with adhesive structures such as attaching villi facilitating egg attachment at substrates of spawning grounds with high currents. Recent findings indicate that the egg quality of the rheophilic cyprinid common nase (Chondrostoma nasus L.), a target species of conservation, differs in the adhesiveness between spawning populations, potentially explaining differences in recruitment success. In this study, a SEM image‐based standardized protocol was established to assess egg surface quality of Chondrostoma nasus eggs. Multivariate statistics detected significant differences of egg surface properties among individual females and among three different populations. These differences were mainly attributed to length variability and merging of adhesive villi as well as to coating and filament‐like connections of these structures. The findings of this study highlight the need for further investigations to better understand the relationship of egg surface properties, egg stickiness and hatching success to understand the recruitment ecology and performance of early life stages in freshwater fish.