Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 53–62

Functional responses of five cyprinid species to planktonic prey

  • Hans Winkler
  • Carmen P. Orellana

DOI: 10.1007/BF00002553

Cite this article as:
Winkler, H. & Orellana, C.P. Environ Biol Fish (1992) 33: 53. doi:10.1007/BF00002553


The functional responses of five species of cyprinids (Chalcalburnus chalcoides, Vimba vimba, Abramis brama, Rutilus rutilus, and Scardinius erythrophthalmus) feeding on four planktonic prey types were measured in the laboratory. Although no alternative prey types were present, the response curves were sigmoid in most cases, because attack rates were not independent of prey density. The findings are explained as being the overt expression of the fishes& foraging tactics. The chief way of maximizing food uptake, according to our interpretation, is accelerating attack rates with increasing prey density. The ability of prey to escape or relative prey size may interfere with this strategy. C. chalcoides, the only obligatory planktivore among the species studied, attacks at higher rates and responds most markedly to changes in prey density.

Key words

CladoceraCopepodaForaging behaviorChalcalburnus chalcoidesVimba vimbaAbramis bramaRutilus rutilusScardinius erythrophthalmus

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Winkler
    • 1
  • Carmen P. Orellana
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Limnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der WissenschaftenMondseeAustria
  2. 2.Konrad Lorenz-Institut für Vergleichende Verhaltensforschung der Österreichischen Akademie der WissenschaftenViennaAustria