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Diel variations in the assemblage structure and foraging ecology of larval and 0+ year juvenile fishes in a man-made floodplain waterbody

Tewson, L. H.; Cowx, I. G.; Nunn, A. D.

Authors

L. H. Tewson

I. G. Cowx

Abstract

© 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles. This study investigated diel variations in zooplankton composition and abundance, and the species composition, density, size structure, feeding activity, diet composition and prey selection of larval and 0+ year juvenile fishes in the littoral of a man-made floodplain waterbody over five 24 h periods within a 57 day period. There was a significant difference in the species composition of diurnal and nocturnal catches, with most species consistently peaking in abundance either during daylight or at night, reflecting their main activity period. There were no consistent diel patterns in assemblage structure or the abundance of some species, however, most likely, respectively, due to the phenology of fish hatching and ontogenetic shifts in diel behaviour or habitat use. There were few clear diel patterns in the diet composition or prey selection of larval and 0+ year juvenile roach Rutilus rutilus and perch Perca fluviatilis, with most taxa consistently selected or avoided irrespective of the time of day or night, and no obvious shift between planktonic and benthic food sources, but dietary overlap suggested that interspecific interactions were probably strongest at night. It is essential that sampling programmes account for the diel ecology of the target species, as diurnal surveys alone could produce inaccurate assessments of resource use. The relative lack of consistent diel patterns in this study suggests that multiple 24 h surveys are required in late spring and early summer to provide accurate assessments of 0+ year fish assemblage structure and foraging ecology.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 1, 2016
Journal Journal of fish biology
Print ISSN 0022-1112
Electronic ISSN 1095-8649
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 88
Issue 4
Pages 1486-1500
Institution Citation Tewson, L. H., Cowx, I. G., & Nunn, A. D. (2016). Diel variations in the assemblage structure and foraging ecology of larval and 0+ year juvenile fishes in a man-made floodplain waterbody. Journal of fish biology, 88(4), 1486-1500. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.12924
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.12924
Keywords Behaviour; Diet composition; Feeding activity; Prey availability; Prey selection; Zooplankton
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jfb.12924/full
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article : Tewson, L. H., Cowx, I. G. and Nunn, A. D. (2016), Diel variations in the assemblage structure and foraging ecology of larval and 0+ year juvenile fishes in a man-made floodplain waterbody. J Fish Biol, 88: 1486–1500. doi:10.1111/jfb.12924

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