Oecologia

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 293–295 | Cite as

The influence of light level on the functional response of a zooplanktonivorous fish

  • Colin R. Townsend
  • Angela J. Risebrow
Article

Summary

Light and vision are clearly of significance in foraging behaviour by underyearling common bream [Abramis brama (L.)]. These fish are effective predators at 1.25 Lux but they were also shown to be capable of taking prey, at a reduced rate, at a much lower light intensity (less than 5x10-3 Lux). In the latter case they may have been using sensory modes other than vision, perhaps involving tactile and/or olfactory stimuli.

We investigated the influence of light level on the functional response of bream to Daphnia magna prey. At 1.25 Lux the predator showed a typical type II response. However, the relatively unfavourable conditions in the lower light intensity appear to have been responsible for generating a sigmoid type III functional response. Observations, using infra-red sensitive equipment, suggested a behavioural basis for this result. Thus, the predator's attack rate was not constant, but increased with prey density. The significance of the type III functional response is discussed, both in terms of predator energetics and predator-prey population stability.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aronson LR, Kaplan H (1968) Function of the teleostean forebrain. In: Ingle D (ed) The central nervous system and fish behaviour. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp 107–125Google Scholar
  2. Bohl E (1980) Diel pattern of pelagic distribution and feeding in planktivorous fish. Oecologia 44:368–375Google Scholar
  3. Campbell RC (1974) Statistics for biologists. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Confer JL, Howick GL, Corzette MH, Kramer SL, Fitzgibbon S, Landesberg R (1978) Visual predation by planktivores. Oikos 31:27–37Google Scholar
  5. Harden Jones FR (1956) The behaviour of minnows in relation to light intensity. J Exp Biol 33:271–281Google Scholar
  6. Hassell MP (1978) The dynamics of arthropod predator-prey systems. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  7. Hassell MP, Lawton JH, Beddington JR (1977) Sigmoid functional responses by invertebrate predators and parasitoids. J Anim Ecol 46:249–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hildrew AG, Townsend CR (1977) The influence of substrate on the functional response of Plectrocnemia conspersa (Curtis) larvae (Trichoptera: Polycentropodidae). Oecologia 31:21–26Google Scholar
  9. Holling CS (1959) Some characteristics simple types of predation and parasitism. Can Ent 91:395–398Google Scholar
  10. Jacobs J (1978) Influence of prey size, light intensity, and alternative prey on the selectivity of plankton feeding fish. Verh Internat Verein Limnol 20:2461–2466Google Scholar
  11. Janssen J (1978) Will alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) feed in the dark? Environ Biol Fishes 4:363–368Google Scholar
  12. Kislalioglu M, Gibson RN (1976) Prey handling time and its importance in food selection by the 15-spined stickleback, Spinachia spinachia (L). J Exp Biol Ecol 25:151–158Google Scholar
  13. Murdoch WW (1973) The functional response of predators. J Appl Ecol 10:335–342Google Scholar
  14. Murdoch WW, Oaten A (1975) Predation and population stability. Adv Ecol Res 9:1–131Google Scholar
  15. Protasov VR (1968) Vision and near orientation of fish. Acad Sci USSR (translated from Russian by the Israel Programme for Scientific Translation, Jerusalem, No. 1 PSTS738)Google Scholar
  16. Vinyard GL, O'Brien WJ (1976) Effect of light and turbidity on the reactive distance of bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). J Fish Res Board Can 33:2845–2849Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin R. Townsend
    • 1
  • Angela J. Risebrow
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichU.K.

Personalised recommendations