Food Consumption by Larval Gizzard Shad: Zooplankton Effects and Implications for Reservoir Communities
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Citation:Dettmers, John M.; Stein, Roy A. "Food Consumption by Larval Gizzard Shad: Zooplankton Effects and Implications for Reservoir Communities," Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, v. 121, no. 4, 1992, pp. 494-507.
Because peak abundance of larval gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum occurs simultaneously with the midsummer decline of macrozooplankton in Ohio reservoirs, we hypothesized that zooplanktivory by larval gizzard shad caused this decline. To test this hypothesis, we compared larval food consumption with zooplankton productivity in two reservoirs. Larval gizzard shad began to influence zooplankton production in a reservoir with high zooplankton productivity (exceeding 125 mg.m^3.d^-1) only after peak zooplankton biomass occurred, even at high larval densities (38 shad.m^-3). However, consumption by early juvenile (25-30-mm) gizzard shad severely reduced zooplankton in this reservoir. Conversely, relatively low densities of larval gizzard shad (3-7 shad.m^-3) had variable effects on zooplankton in a reservoir with low zooplankton productivity (at most 4 mg.m^-3.d^-1). Depending on larval gizzard shad density and zooplankton production, larval gizzard shad alone or in conjunction with early juveniles may control zooplankton assemblages, increasing competition for limited resources at a time when zooplankton are critical to sport-fish recruitment
This work was supported by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration, Project F-57-R, administered through the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
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