Lake trophic state and the limnological effects of omnivorous fish
- Cite this article as:
- Drenner, R.W., Smith, J.D. & Threlkeld, S.T. Hydrobiologia (1996) 319: 213. doi:10.1007/BF00013734
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Ecologists have hypothesized that planktivorous fish have greater effects on the plankton and water quality of oligotrophic lakes than eutrophic lakes. We tested this hypothesis in a tank-mesocosm experiment of factorial design in which five biomass levels of filter-feeding omnivorous gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) were cross-classified with two levels of lake trophic state achieved by filling tank-mesocosms with water and plankton transported by truck from two lakes with different trophic states. The presence of gizzard shad significantly increased total phosphorus, primary productivity, chlorophyll, and particulate phosphorus (PP) 2–20 and 20–200 µm and significantly decreased Secchi depth, cladocerans, copepods and PP > 200 µm. The effects of gizzard shad on chlorophyll, Secchi depth, cladocerans, copepods and PP 2–20 and > 200 µm were dependent on lake trophic state and most intense in the eutrophic lake system. This experiment suggests that filter-feeding omnivorous fish interact synergistically with trophic state so that the limnological effects of omnivorous fish become more intense with increased eutrophication.