Ontogenetic dietary changes of whitefish larvae: insights from field and experimental observations

Anneville, Orlane, Berthon, Vincent, Glippa, Olivier, Mahjoub, Mohamed-Sofiane, Molinero, Juan Carlos and Souissi, Sami (2011) Ontogenetic dietary changes of whitefish larvae: insights from field and experimental observations Environmental Biology of Fishes, 91 (1). pp. 27-38. DOI 10.1007/s10641-010-9755-1.

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Ontogenetic changes in resource use are widespread in many fish species. This study investigated the feeding habits of whitefish (C. lavaretus L.) larvae in Lake Annecy (France) coupled with experimental behavioral studies in order to identify the underlying mechanisms of the ontogenetic shifts in the diet. The predatory behavior of wild larvae, and the escape responses of their zooplankton prey were both videorecorded in experimental tanks under controlled laboratory conditions. Ontogenetic diet patterns showed that young whitefish larvae have a preference for small cyclops, while older larvae selectively predate cladocerans. Our experimental observations showed that the capture success rate also varied in relation to ontogenetic development in fish. Young larvae were more successful in capturing small copepods, whereas old larvae were more successful in capturing Daphnia. In addition, the larvae were able to adjust their predatory behavior (speed, pursuit) according to the swimming pattern of the prey. These observations suggest that the selective predation on cladocerans observed in old larvae is the outcome of both active and passive choices depending on the escape swimming behavior of the prey, and handling time of the predator.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Food Webs; Predation – Escape behaviour – Prey selectivity – Coregonids – Ontogeny
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s10641-010-9755-1
ISSN: 0378-1909
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2011 12:24
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2017 12:23
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/12216

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