Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 279–292 | Cite as

Factors affecting prey selection by young bream Abramis brama and roach Rutilus rutilus: insights provided by parallel studies in laboratory and field

  • Ian J. Winfield
  • Colin R. Townsend
Full paper


Prey selection by underyearling bream and roach was studied in both the laboratory and field. When presented with cladoceran and a more elusive copepod prey both fish species select against copepods, regardless of the relative prey sizes. However, the field diet of bream, but not roach, consistently includes a large proportion of copepods. The explanation for this discrepancy lies in the timing and location of foraging in the field. Bream foraging, unlike that of roach, is largely restricted to the hours of darkness and to the lowest stratum of the lake. The Microcrustacea of this stratum is depleted of cladocerans at night, because of vertical migration, and is relatively rich in copepods.

Key words

Cyprinidae Cladocera Copepoda Foraging behaviour Diel migration 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian J. Winfield
    • 1
  • Colin R. Townsend
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

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