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Preference for cannibalism and ontogenetic constraints in competitive ability of piscivorous top predators
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (Arcum ; EcoChange)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 7, e70404- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
Cannibalism, piscivory, competition, Arctic char, ninespine stickleback
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37993DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070404OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-37993DiVA: diva2:371640
Available from: 2010-11-22 Created: 2010-11-22 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Invasion of top and intermediate consumers in a size structured fish community
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Invasion of top and intermediate consumers in a size structured fish community
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Invasion av toppredatorer och intermediära konsumenter i ett storleksstrukturerat fisksamhälle
Abstract [en]

In this thesis I have investigated the effects of invading top and intermediate consumers in a size-structured fish community, using a combination of field studies, a lake invasion experiment and smaller scale pond and aquaria experiments.

The lake invasion experiment was based on introductions of an intermediate consumer, ninespine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius L.), in to allopatric populations of an omnivorous top predator, Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus L.). The invasion experiment was performed in two tundra lakes and in two birch forest lakes to investigate the effect of climate on the invasion success. I found that the effect of sticklebacks on char was size dependent. Small char suffered reduced growth from resource competition with sticklebacks whereas the maximum size of adult char increased from the addition of a larger prey resource, stickleback. The negative effect of sticklebacks on the growth of small char suggests that sticklebacks may be a better resource competitor than char, which was also supported by the pond and aquaria experiments. The pond experiments also suggested that char were more efficient cannibals than interspecific predators on sticklebacks. Cannibalism in char may limit the recruitment of char and decrease both their predatory and competitive effect on coexisting species and thereby also promote the coexistence of char and sticklebacks. The successful invasion by sticklebacks and their subsequent increases in density suggest that the absence of sticklebacks in char lakes in this region is not caused by biotic interactions with char. Instead, it may be suggested that co-occurrence of sticklebacks and char in the region is limited by dispersal.

The char – stickleback system resembles an intraguild predation system with char as the top consumer and stickleback as the intermediate consumer. The effects of the stickleback invasion is also contrasted with a field study of a northern pike (Esox lucius L.) invasion into a system with coexisting char and stickleback, where pike can be viewed as the top consumer and char as the intermediate consumer both feeding on sticklebacks. In this case pike excluded char. The identity of the invading species and the relative strength of the predatory and competitive interactions in the two contrasting systems are discussed in relation to coexistence in intraguild predation systems. I found that the identity of the invading species is of crucial importance for the response at the ecosystem level, and that the inherent size dependency of competitive and predatory interactions in fish communities is important for attaining a mechanistical understanding of the effects of invasive species in lake ecosystems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap, 2010. 27 p.
Keyword
Invasion, intraguild predation, size-structure, cannibalism, climate, temperature, Arctic char, ninespine stickleback
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37995 (URN)978-91-7459-119-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-17, KBC-huset, KB3B1, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 11:03 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-11-26 Created: 2010-11-22 Last updated: 2010-11-26Bibliographically approved

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Byström, PärAsk, PerPersson, Lennart

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