, Volume 191, Issue 1, pp 67–73 | Cite as

The dynamics of a population of roach (Rutilus rutilus (L.)) in a shallow lake: is there a 2-year cycle in recruitment?

  • Martin R. Perrow
  • Graeme Peirson
  • Colin R. Townsend
Long-term changes


Recruitment success of roach varied dramatically between 1978 and 1985 in Alderfen Broad, a small lake in eastern England. All size classes of roach feed to a significant extent upon zooplankton, but the underyearling fish have the greatest effects upon the abundance, species composition and mean size of zooplankton. During years of good recruitment (1979, 1981, 1983 and 1985) when the 0 + age group was abundant, they showed poor growth as a result of the depression of their prey populations. Older fish also tended to grow poorly in these years and may have been less fecund the following year. In years of poor recruitment (1980, 1982 and 1984), with the release of the depressive effect upon the zooplankton exerted by underyearling fish, the older size classes tended to grow well with higher fecundity the following season, giving rise to good recruitment of underyearling fish, even when the number of spawners was low. The evidence indicates that there is a 2-year cycle of roach recruitment in Alderfen and this will be described.

Key words

population cycle Rutilus rutilus intraspecific competition 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin R. Perrow
    • 1
  • Graeme Peirson
    • 1
  • Colin R. Townsend
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichU.K.

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