Preference for cannibalism and ontogenetic constraints in competitive ability of piscivorous top predators
2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 7, e70404- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We experimentally show that the piscivorous top predator Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) have higher attack rates on cannibal prey compared to the interspecific prey species ninespine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius), and that sticklebacks are more efficient competitiors for zooplankton resources compared to juvenile char. We also conducted a literature survey that together with our experiments showed that piscivorous top consumers selected cannibal prey over interspecific prey in 9 out of 10 cases. Our literature survey also showed that specialist prey species are competitively superior compared to juvenile piscivorous species within the zooplankton niche. We discuss our results in relation to omnivory in fish communities and we suggest that the observed general preference for cannibal prey over interspecific prey in piscivores and the competitive advantage of prey species over juvenile piscivores may be major mechanisms for coexistence in fish communities.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 8, no 7, e70404- p.
Cannibalism, piscivory, competition, Arctic char, ninespine stickleback
Research subject biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37993DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070404OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-37993DiVA: diva2:371640