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Erik Jeppesen

Submerged macrophytes facilitate dominance of omnivorous fish in a subtropical shallow lake: implications for lake restoration

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  • Jinlei Yu, Jinan University
  • ,
  • Zhengwen Liu, UCAS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sinodanish Ctr Educ & Res SDC
  • ,
  • Hu He, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Wei Zhen, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Baohua Guan, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Feizhou Chen, Chinese Acad Sci, Chinese Academy of Sciences, State Key Lab Lake Sci & Environm, Nanjing Inst Geog & Limnol, Chinese Acad Sci, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing Inst Geog & Limnol, State Key Lab Lake Sci & Environm, Chinese Acad Sci, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunnan Astron Observ, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Kuanyi Li, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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  • Ping Zhong, Jinan University
  • ,
  • Franco Teixeira De Mello, Univ Republ, University of the Republic - Uruguay, University of the Republic - Uruguay, Funct Ecol Aquat Syst, CURE
  • ,
  • Erik Jeppesen

Biomanipulation based on removal of coarse fish, piscivorous fish stocking and sometimes also planting of submerged macrophytes has been used to restore temperate eutrophic shallow lakes. However, in warmer lakes, omnivorous fish are more abundant and apparently less well controlled by the piscivores. We investigated the food web structure and energy pathways of fish in the restored part of subtropical Lake Wuli, China, using gut contents analysis (GCA) and the IsoSource model based on stable isotope analysis (SIA) data. We found that omnivores dominated the fish community in terms of numbers. GCA showed that cyclopoid copepods constituted the main food item for the planktivores, while all adult omnivorous fish fed mainly on macrophytes. The IsoSource SIA model supported these results. Furthermore, piscivores consumed shrimps rather than juvenile omnivores, and the SIA analysis revealed no trophic links between piscivores and adult omnivores or zooplanktivores. We conclude that macrophytes constituted an important food item for omnivores, potentially promoting population growth of omnivores as control by piscivores was weak. This may yield a high predation pressure on both zooplankton and on macrophytes, possibly preventing the establishment of a stable macrophyte state following restoration of eutrophic lakes unless the fish density is regularly controlled.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Volume775
Issue1
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
ISSN0018-8158
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

    Research areas

  • Submerged macrophytes, Fish diets, Alternative prey, Stable isotope, Food web, Lake restoration, COMMUNITY STRUCTURE, ALTERNATIVE PREY, EUTROPHIC LAKE, ENCLOSURE EXPERIMENT, PRIMARY PRODUCERS, FEEDING STRATEGY, STABLE-ISOTOPES, TROPHIC LEVELS, LITTORAL-ZONE, RIVER

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