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The feeding behaviour of large perch Perca fluviatilis (L.) in relation to food availability: a comparative study

Dörner, H. and Berg van den, S. A. and Jacobsen, L. and Hülsmann, S. and Brojerg, M. and Wagner, A. (2003) The feeding behaviour of large perch Perca fluviatilis (L.) in relation to food availability: a comparative study. Hydrobiologia, 506-509, 427-434. ISSN 0018-8158.

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The aim of the present study was to analyse and compare the feeding behaviour of large perch (>25 cm total length) in two lakes of different state and corresponding differences in food availability. Investigations were conducted in the Bautzen Reservoir, Germany, (biomanipulated, macrophyte cover <1%) and in Lake Ring, Denmark (non-biomanipulated, macrophyte cover ca. 20%). Fish were sampled regularly using trawl nets and gill nets. We focused our study on seasonal diet patterns. Further, we investigated size-related feeding and predation on both the juvenile fish and invertebrate communities. The availability of Chironominae was high in both lakes (e.g. ca. 1500 ind. m-2 in Lake Ring), but age-0 fish abundance was most probably higher in Bautzen Reservoir (6.4 individuals m-3 in the beginning of June 1998). Invertebrates and age-0 fish were the main food components of large perch of both populations. Mean lengths of prey fish were consistently smaller than those in situ. Large perch in Bautzen Reservoir started earlier to feed on age-0 fish, which was not related to prey fish sizes. Predation on the age-0 fish community was distinctly higher in Bautzen Reservoir than in Lake Ring. Generally, invertebrates represented the most important food of large perch in Lake Ring, whereas the by far dominant food resource of large perch in Bautzen Reservoir was the age-0 fish stock. In conclusion, it can be stated that the prey fish availability was an important factor in determining the feeding behaviour of large perch. [KEYWORDS: piscivory, biomanipulation, predation, age-0 fish, invertebrates, selectivity]

Item Type:Article
ID Code:11311
Deposited On:24 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:24 Apr 2012 16:34

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