Domagała J., Kirczuk L., Dziewulska K., Pilecka-Rapacz M. 2014. Annual development of gonads of pumpkinseed, Lepomis gibbosus (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Centrarchidae) from a heated-water discharge canal of a power plant in the lower stretch of the Oder River, Poland. Acta Ichthyol. Piscat. 44 (2): 131–143.
The pumpkinseed, Lepomis gibbosus (Linnaeus, 1758), known also as pumpkinseed sunfish, is native to eastern and central North America. Its introduction to Europe has resulted in fast spreading of the species over the continent. In Poland, the pumpkinseed has found favourable conditions for living and reproduction in water bodies artificially heated by thermal power plants. The aim of this study was to determine the annual cycle of gonad development of the pumpkinseed population inhabiting the warm-water canal of the Dolna Odra power plant (NW Poland), which has not been studied before at this location.
Materials and methods.
The pumpkinseed individuals were caught in the heated-water discharge canal of the Dolna Odra power plant. The average water temperature in the canal was by 6–8ºC higher than that of the river. The analysis of the annual cycle of gonad development was performed in both sexes using histological methods. The fish were aged 3+ to 6+. A standard paraffin technique and Heidenhain’s iron hematoxylin staining were used.
In the site surveyed, the spawning season for females lasted from the beginning of May through August, i.e., was longer than in the native range of this fish species. In one female caught in September, the ovaries contained oocytes in the stage of vitellogenesis. The oocytes in the stage of atresia were found rarely in the fish caught from April through June. Mature testes in males were found between late April and September, i.e., throughout the spawning period of the females. Few male anomalies of the sexual cycle were observed, e.g., in October, they were found to engage in another cycle of spermatogenesis and spermatozoa production. Moreover, the presence of large groups of degenerating cells in the seminal tubules was observed throughout the year, but was particularly evident between September and February.
The results have confirmed the high colonisation abilities of the pumpkinseed. As a consequence of global warming, the studied canal with post-cooling water may become a starting point of expansion of this species to other bodies of water. Upon a considerable climate warming, this species could threaten the native species.
reproductive cycle, oogenesis, spermatogenesis, post-cooling water