Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2010.02543.x
Title (Primary) Fish predation affects the structure of a benthic community
Author Winkelmann, C.; Hellmann, C.; Worischka, S.; Petzoldt, T.; Bendorf, J.
Journal Freshwater Biology
Year 2011
Department FLOEK
Volume 56
Issue 6
Page From 1030
Page To 1046
Language englisch
Keywords Barbatula barbatula; benthic community; Gobio gobio; large scale; predation
Abstract 1. We conducted an experimental study of predation by benthivorous fish on a natural community of stream invertebrates using a reach-scale approach. Over a 2-year period (experimental phase), the benthic invertebrate community of a stretch containing two species of benthivorous fish was compared with a fishless stretch. Thereafter, all fish were removed and benthic community structure was analysed again to account for natural differences between the two stretches (reference phase).2. Benthivorous fish at the moderate densities investigated did not affect total benthic biomass or density, but did alter species composition. In addition, the fish effect differed between pool and riffle habitats, with larger effects in the pools indicating a habitat-specific predation effect. In the reference phase, when all fish were removed from the stream, the difference between the two stretches was reduced.3. The benthivorous fish reduced the densities of four taxa (Pisidium sp., Dugesia gonocephala, Gammarus pulex, Limoniidae), representing 29% of total biomass. It is possible that density reductions of other species were masked by prey migration despite the relatively large spatial scale. Indeed, higher drift activity in the upstream fishless stretch could have increased the density of Baetis rhodani in the fish stretch, as indicated by the results of a drift model.4. Our results provide insights into stream food web ecology because fish predation showed effects even in a natural system where habitat complexity was high, environmental factors were highly variable and many predator and prey species interacted and because benthivorous fish were the focus, whereas the majority of previous predation experiments in streams have used drift-feeding trout.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Winkelmann, C., Hellmann, C., Worischka, S., Petzoldt, T., Bendorf, J. (2011):
Fish predation affects the structure of a benthic community
Freshw. Biol. 56 (6), 1030 - 1046