Effects of Smallmouth Buffalo, Ictiobus bubalus Biomass on Water Transparency, Nutrients, and Productivity in Shallow Experimental Ponds
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The smallmouth buffalo Ictiobus bubalus is a native benthivore to floodplain lakes in the Yazoo River Basin, USA. Based on evidence from other benthivorous fish studies we hypothesized high biomasses of I. bubalus contribute to poor water quality conditions. We tested this hypothesis in shallow (<1.5 m) 0.05 ha earthen ponds at three stocking biomasses over a 10-week period during the summer of 2012. The most notable results from the permutational multivariate analysis of variance suggest I. bubalus at high and moderate biomasses significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced turbidity and suspended solid levels while decreasing Secchi depth. Our results suggest that effects of I. bubalus on water clarity may have considerable ecological implications in natural habitats such as shallow floodplain lakes.
KeywordsFish Nutrients Water clarity Productivity
The authors would like to acknowledge grateful support from the Mississippi Agricultural Forestry Experiment Station and the Forest and Wildlife Research Center.
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