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Erik Jeppesen

Stocking of herbivorous fish in eutrophic shallow clear-water lakes to reduce standing height of submerged macrophytes while maintaining their biomass

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Wei Zhen, Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Sinodanish Ctr Educ & Res SDC
  • ,
  • Xiumei Zhang, Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Sinodanish Ctr Educ & Res SDC
  • ,
  • Baohua Guan, Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Sinodanish Ctr Educ & Res SDC
  • ,
  • Chunyu Yin, Chinese Acad Sci, Nanjing Inst Geog & Limnol, Taihu Lab Lake Ecosyst Res, State Key Lab Lake Sci & Environm
  • ,
  • Jinlei Yu, Chinese Acad Sci, Nanjing Inst Geog & Limnol, Taihu Lab Lake Ecosyst Res, State Key Lab Lake Sci & Environm
  • ,
  • Erik Jeppesen
  • Xuefeng Zhao, Belsun Aquat Ecol Sci & Technol Cooperat Ltd
  • ,
  • Zhengwen Liu, Jinan Univ, Jinan University, Dept Ecol

To balance the conservation value versus recreational use of shallow lakes, moderate herbivory may be needed in eutrophic lakes to avoid near surface growth while maintaining high vegetation biomass close to the sediment. However, over-grazing or even complete elimination of macrophytes by grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) commonly used for control purposes has often been observed, leading to a shift from a clear to a turbid phytoplankton-dominated state. We hypothesized that slow-growing and smaller-sized herbivorous fish species might be more suitable than grass carp to obtain the desired moderate control because they consume the top part of the vegetation without severely affecting the lower plant parts. To test the hypothesis, the effects of Wuchang bream (Megalobrama amblycephala), an endemic medium-sized herbivorous cyprinid, and grass carp on the biomass, density and trait of the macrophyte Vallisneria denseserrulata were compared in an enclosure experiment. We found that V. denseserrulata grew less tall but did not lose biomass under moderate herbivory by Wuchang bream due to increased plant density and leaf weight per length, whereas excessive herbivory by grass carp had strong negative effects on the plant biomass. Moreover, the plant had more and thicker leaves in the fish treatments than in the fishless controls. The growth of grass carp was much faster than that of Wuchang bream. Our findings suggest that stocking of Wuchang bream in proper densities may be more useful than grass carp for the management of V. denseserrulata and likely also other macrophyte species. More tests, especially at different fish densities are, however, needed to draw any firm conclusions regarding this hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEcological Engineering
Volume113
Pages (from-to)61-64
Number of pages4
ISSN0925-8574
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

    Research areas

  • Submerged macrophytes, Moderate herbivory, Grass carp, Wuchang bream, Vallisneria denseserrulata, TRIPLOID GRASS CARP, AQUATIC PLANTS, GROWTH, BIOMANIPULATION, RESTORATION, MANAGEMENT, DYNAMICS, FLORIDA, STATE

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