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Stickleback diets in bays along the northen Baltic Sea
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Coastal populations of perch (Perca fluviatilis) in the Baltic Sea has declined substantially the last decades while the populations of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) has increased rapidly during the same time period. Earlier studies have suggested that predation on perch larvae and or competition from sticklebacks are the causes behind the decline in perch. To test if predation from sticklebacks commonly occur on perch larvae as well as provide data on stickleback diets in general, diets of sticklebacks were examined by looking at the stomach content of collected samples of sticklebacks from different bays along the Swedish and Finnish coast. Results showed no evidence of stickleback predation on perch larvae as no perch larvae were found in any of the examined stomachs.  Three-spined sticklebacks generally had the same diet in all studied bays consisting mainly of Chironomidae and Asellus aquaticus. The diet results suggest that competition between perch larvae and sticklebacks is minor if any due to low proportions of zooplankton found in the stomachs of the sticklebacks while zooplankton is the main food source for perch larvae. In bays where three spined sticklebacks were found with nine-spined sticklebacks they generally had similar diets. Still, due to a larger size and gape size of three-spined sticklebacks they fed more on larger prey like Asellus aquaticus while nine-spined sticklebacks contained smaller prey such as benthic cladocerans. Due to few samples from bays where sticklebacks were found together with perch larvae, no conclusion regarding predation on larvae as the main the mechanism for declines in coastal perch population can be drawn from the results in this study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 10
Keywords [en]
stickleback, perch larvae, predation, competition, bay
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-159770OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-159770DiVA, id: diva2:1320836
Educational program
Bachelor of Science in Biology and Earthscience
Presentation
2019-06-05, NC250, Naturvetarhuset, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 17:18 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-09 Created: 2019-06-05 Last updated: 2019-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Ecology

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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