Substrate-size choice in European eel (Anguilla anguilla) elvers is not altered by piscivore chemical cues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The European eel Anguilla anguilla Linnaeus 1758 is critically endangered with recruitment estimated at 5–10% of historical levels. Enhancing survival of recruits is pivotal for conservation, and restoration should consider habitat choice of elvers ascending river systems. We experimentally show that newly ascended elvers choose small pebble habitat over finer and larger substrates, regardless of the presence or absence of piscivore chemical cues, indicating no predator-induced change in substrate choice. Enriching habitats with this substrate fraction should enhance eel recruitment as well as biodiversity at large.


  • P. Anders Nilsson
  • Ivi J. Pettersson
  • Carl Tamario
  • Erik Degerman
  • Jonas Elghagen
  • Johan Watz
  • Olle Calles
External organisations
  • Karlstad University
  • Lund University
  • Linnaeus University
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Elghagen Fiskevård
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use


  • chemical cues, European eel, habitat choice, predator–prey, substrate size
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1534-1537
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Early online date2020 Apr 11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun
Publication categoryResearch