, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 328–332 | Cite as

Algae-grazing minnows (Campostoma anomalum), piscivorous bass (Micropterus spp.), and the distribution of attached algae in a small prairie-margin stream

  • Mary E. Power
  • William J. Matthews
Original Papers


Campostoma anomalum is an algae-grazing minnow, abundant in many streams of the central and eastern United States. In a small stream in south-central Oklahoma, Campostoma has a marked impact on standing crops of attached algae. Pools with schools of Campostoma are barren, while pools in which Campostoma are apparently excluded by bass (Micropterus salmoides or M. punctulatus) support large standing crops of filamentous green algae (predominantly Spirogyra sp. and Rhizoclonium sp.). Campostoma grazed actively on algae-covered cobbles transferred into their pools, and visibly reduced standing crops within one hour. After 24 h of exposure to Campostoma, standing crops of attached algae on cobbles were reduced from 22.0 to 6.3 mg ash-free dry weight cm-2. When a largemouth bass was tethered in a pool with Campostoma, the minnows did not graze on algae-covered cobbles within 30–50 cm of the bass, but fed actively on cobbles that were more than 1.3 m away. These results indicate that interactions of Campostoma and their predators may be an important factor contributing to pool-to-pool variation in attached algae in small streams of the central and eastern United States.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beets JP (1979) Population dynamics of the stoneroller minnow, Campostoma anomalum (Rafinesque), in streams of a fivecounty area in upper East Tennessee. MS thesis, University of TennesseeGoogle Scholar
  2. Burr BM (1980) Campostoma anomalum (Rafinesque), Stoneroller. In: Atlas of North American fishes Lee DS et al. (eds) Raleigh, North Carolina: North Carolina State Museum of Natural History pp 143–144Google Scholar
  3. Clady MD (1974) Food habits of yellow perch, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass in two unproductive lakes in northern Michigan. Am Midl Nat 91:453–459Google Scholar
  4. Crowder LB, Cooper WE (1979) Structural complexity and fishprey interactions in ponds: a point of view. In: Response of fish to habitat structure in standing water. Johnson DL, Stein RA (eds) North central Div. Am Fish Soc Spec Pub 6Google Scholar
  5. Duggins DO (1980) Kelp beds and sea otters: an experimental approach. Ecology 61:447–453Google Scholar
  6. Estes JA, Palmisano JF (1974) Sea otters: their role in structuring nearshore communities. Science 185:1058–1060Google Scholar
  7. Fraser DF, Cerri RD (1982) Experimental evaluation of predatorprey relationships in a patchy environment: consequences for habitat use patterns in minnows. Ecology 63:307–313Google Scholar
  8. Funk JL, Fleener GG (1974) The fishery of a Missouri USA Ozark stream, Big Piney River, and the effects of stocking fingerling smallmouth bass. Trans Am Fish Soc 103:757–771Google Scholar
  9. Gunning GE, Lewis WM (1956) Age and growth of two important bait species in a coldwater stream in southern Illinois. Am Midl Nat 55:118–120Google Scholar
  10. Hay ME (1981) Herbivory, algal distribution and the maintenance of between habitat diversity on a tropical fringing reef. Amer Natur 118:520–540Google Scholar
  11. Hunter RD (1980) Effects of grazing on the quantity and quality of freshwater aufwuchs. Hydrobiologia 69:251–259Google Scholar
  12. Jones RS (1968) A suggested method for quantifying gut contents in herbivorous fishes. Micronesica 4:369–371Google Scholar
  13. Keast A (1970) Food specialization and bioenergetic interrelationships in the fish fauna of some small Ontario waterways. In: Marine food chains Steele JH (ed), London, Oliver and Boyd, pp 377–411Google Scholar
  14. Kesler DH (1981) Periphyton grazing by Amnicola limnosa: An enclosure-exclosure experiment. J Freshwater Ecology 1:51–59Google Scholar
  15. Kraatz WC (1923) A study of the food of the minnow, Campostoma anomalum. Ohio J Science 23:265–283Google Scholar
  16. Kramer RH, Smith LL (1962) Formation of year classes in largemouth bass. Trans Am Fish Soc 91:29–41Google Scholar
  17. Lennon RE, Parker PS (1962) The stoneroller, Campostoma anomalum (Rafinesque) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Trans Am Fish Soc 89:263–270Google Scholar
  18. Mann KH, Breen PA (1972) The relation between lobster abundance and kelp forests. J Fish Res Bd Can 29:603–605Google Scholar
  19. Paine RT (1980) Food webs: linkage, interaction strength and community infrastructure. J Anim Ecol 49:667–685Google Scholar
  20. Paine RT, Vadas RL (1969) The effects of grazing by sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus spp., on benthic algal populations. Limnol Oceanogr 14:710–719Google Scholar
  21. Pflieger WL (1975) The fishes of Missouri, Jefferson City, Mo, WesternGoogle Scholar
  22. Scalet CG (1977) Summer food habits of sympatric stream populations of spotted bass Micropterus punctulatus, and largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, (Osteichthyes, Centrarchidae). Southwestern Nat 21:493–501Google Scholar
  23. Smith CL, Powell CR (1971) The summer fish communities of Brier Creek, Marshall County, Oklahoma. Am Mus Novitates No. 2458, p 30Google Scholar
  24. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1969) Biometry, San Francisco, FreemanGoogle Scholar
  25. Vine PJ (1974) Effects of algal grazing and aggressive behavior of the fishes Pomacentrus lividus and Acanthurus sohal on coral reef ecology. Marine Biology 24:131–136Google Scholar
  26. Werner EE, Hall DJ, Laughlin DR, Wagner DJ, Wilsmann LA, Funk FC (1977) Habitat partitioning in a freshwater community. J Fish Res Bd Can 34:360–370Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary E. Power
    • 1
    • 2
  • William J. Matthews
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Environmental StudiesUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.University of Oklahoma Biological Station Star Route BKingstonUSA

Personalised recommendations