, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 101-112
Date: 27 Apr 2011

Effects of individual differences in foraging of pale chub on algal biomass through trophic cascades

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The foraging behavior of pale chub, Zacco platypus in experimental ponds was observed and the fish were classified according to whether they predominantly employed near-bed cruising and bottom feeding (type B) or whether they exhibited sit-and-wait and near-surface cruising, with occasional drift and surface feeding (type S). Fish that exhibited both behaviors were classified as type I. The effects of pale chub on trophic cascades were examined in pools into which river water was pumped. Twenty pools were assigned to four treatments and contained either no fish, or six pale chub of type B, or of type I, or of type S. Fish behavior was consistent throughout the experiments, and was not related to body length or sex. All types of pale chub predominantly preyed on invertebrates, but type B consumed more benthic algae than did type S. The algal biomass in pools with types S and I was greater than that in pools without pale chub as a result of trophic cascades. In pools with type B fish, the number of algal-grazing invertebrates on the upper surface of tiles was reduced as in pools with types S and I, but algal biomass did not increase because of direct grazing by type B fish. The mechanisms of reduction of algal-grazing invertebrates were different between types B and S; type S predominantly preyed on invertebrates in the water current, whereas type B preyed on and threatened invertebrates on the upper surface of tiles and removed them. Individual differences in foraging mode had significant effects on the mechanism of trophic cascades.