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Effects of habitat complexity and preyabundance on the spatial and temporaldistributions of perch (Perca fluviatilis)and pike (Esox lucius)
Department of Animal Ecology, Umeå University.
1997 (English)In: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, ISSN 0706-652X, E-ISSN 1205-7533, Vol. 54, no 7, p. 1520-1531Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Structurally complex environments strongly affect the behaviours and foraging efficiencies of predators and prey. I studied temporal variation in the habitat distribution of perch (Perca fluviatilis) and pike (Esox lucius) in relation to habitatcomplexity and prey abundance in a lake. The study involved quantitative estimates of different habitat types, estimates omacroinvertebrate prey availability, and distribution and movement patterns of the fish. The numbers of 80–110 mm perch in the littoral zone decreased rapidly in spring, which was a result of either perch moving to the pelagic zone or predation mortality. Predation mortality is the most plausible explanation because piscivorous perch and pike >160 mm aggregated close to these high abundances of 80–110 mm perch, and 80–110 mm perch used only vegetated habitats as a possible protection against predators. Both the biomass and diversity of macroinvertebrates increased with vegetation density, whereas perch abundance was highest in an intermediate vegetation density. Pike size was inversely related to vegetation density as a result of potential cannibalism from the largest pike individuals, which preferred the tree structure habitat. Perch group size decreased with increasing vegetation density, and perch <80 mm always occurred in group sizes larger than three individuals and never occurred in the same groups as perch >160 mm. In contrast, perch >160 mm occurred at decreasing numbers with increasing group size and mainly stayed solitary or in pairs. Perch >160 mm showed no tendencies for homing behaviour and moved actively around the whole lake, whereas pike showed a strong homing behaviour. My study suggests that the structural complexity in the littoral zone can both qualitatively and quantitatively change the interaction between piscivorous predators and their prey.

La variation temporelle touchant la distribution de la perche commune (Perca fluviatilis) et du grand brochet (Esox lucius) dans l'habitat d'un lac a suggéré que la complexité structurale de la zone littorale puisse modifier, qualitativement et quantitativement, les interactions entre les prédateurs piscivores et leurs proies. Le nombre de perches de 80-110 mm dans la zone littorale a diminué rapidement au printemps. La mortalité par prédation est une explication plus plausible de ce phénomène que la migration des perches vers la zone pélagique parce que les percidés et les brochets piscivores de taille 160 mm se rassemblaient près de ces zones de forte abondance de petites perches (80-110 mm), qui n'utilisent que les habitats couverts de végétation comme protection possible contre les prédateurs. La biomasse et la diversité de macroinvertébrés ont augmenté avec la densité de la végétation, tandis que l'abondance des perches était la plus élevée lorsque la densité de la végétation était intermédiaire. La taille du grand brochet était inversement proportionnelle à la densité de la végétation en raison de la possibilité de cannibalisme par les brochets de plus grande taille qui préféraient un habitat comportant des arbres. La taille des perches, en groupe, diminuait avec l'augmentation de la densité de la végétation et les percidés de taille < 80 mm se présentaient toujours en groupe de plus de trois individus et jamais dans les mêmes groupes que les percidés > 160 mm. Ces derniers vivaient principalement en solitaires ou en paires, ne présentaient aucune tendance en ce qui a trait au comportement de retour, et se déplaçaient activement autour du lac entier; le grand brochet présentait un comportement de retour très prononcé. [Traduit par la Rédaction]

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1997. Vol. 54, no 7, p. 1520-1531
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Limnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-88671DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-54-7-1520OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-88671DiVA, id: diva2:158848
Available from: 2009-02-12 Created: 2009-02-04 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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