Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Species biomass and size composition of fish faunas along a productivity gradient were studied in south Swedish lakes. Generally, with increasing productivity (measured as chlorophyll content), Salmoniformes were replaced by percids, which in turn were replaced by cyprinids, as suggested in previous studies. However, percids showed two peaks in biomass, one in medium productive lakes due to perch and one in highly productive lakes due to zander. Benthic piscivores were present in all lakes, whereas pelagic piscivores were absent in the least productive lakes. The proportion of piscivores in the total fish biomass showed a peak in medium productive lakes, largely reflecting the importance of piscivorous perch. The median size of the dominant cyprinids (roach) in the systems studied increased as the importance of piscivores increased, which was interpreted as a size refuge response to increased predation pressure. The same pattern was present for the dominant planktivore, vendace, in low productive systems. Although a predictable pattern of change in the fish fauna was found along the productivity gradient, other environmental factors such as structural complexity may be the ultimate cause of the observed succession pattern.
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