Parental assignment analyses of the anadromous allis shad (Alosa alosa) as success monitoring of the reestablishment in the River Rhine



The allis shad has been extinct in the River Rhine in the 1960s and is now threatened across its whole range in Western and Central Europe. To establish a refugial population and to contribute to the recovery of the native fish fauna in the River Rhine, the allis shad is reintroduced in the framework of the EU-LIFE and EU-LIFE+ project Alosa alosa since 2008 using larvae originating from the Girondesystem (France).
One aim of this project is the distinction of allis shad originating from the stocking program and from natural reproduction. As natural reproduction is the first step to a self-sustaining population, it is crucial to monitor its contribution to the whole stock. Furthermore, the effects of hatchery rearing on the genetic constitution of the stock in the hatchery and the stock in the River Rhine will be investigated, because parameters like loss of genetic diversity and inbreeding may affect the reintroduction success.
To achieve these aims, a microsatellite system will be established and based upon the obtained genotypes parental assignment analyses will be conducted.

Financial support

Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU)

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Since 02/2014

Project partners

  • LIFE+ project „Conservation and restoration of the Allis shad in the Gironde and Rhine watersheds“

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  • MIGADO (Association pour la restauration et la gestion des poissons Migrateurs du bassin de la Garonne et de la Dordogne)

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Kathrin Metzner

Dr. René Gergs

Prof. Dr. Ralf Schulz