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Study on the Biology of Tilapia zillii (Gervais, 1848) in Lake Kinneret (Israel)
Fish (mostly Tilapia zillii), (TZ), mass mortality in Lake Kinneret initiated a study of the biology of TZ in Lake Kinneret. The study included several aspects: spawning and nesting behavior, feeding habits, the status of TZ in the Kinneret fishery and temperature tolerance. The merit of TZ to commercial landing fishery is negligible, but this specimen is one of the most common fishes in the lake. Several environmental factors are considered as promoters of the epilimnetic temperature decline: Jordan water inputs in winter season as a heat source parameter. ENSO (EL-NIÑO/Southern Oscillation) acts as a cooling enhancement factor. Supportive data on the impact of ENSO were found in two terrestrial agricultural monitors in the northern and southern parts of the drainage basin. Gut content analysis of young fingerlings and an adult TZ specimen, indicated the significant contribution of benthic sources which are common in the shallows. The great adaptive capabilities of breeding TZ with various bottom habitats are demonstrated.
T. zillii, Kinneret, Breeding, Temperature, ENSO, River Jordan.
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