Diet composition and consumption rate in round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in its expansion phase in the Trent River, Ontario

Abstract

We assessed density, gut fullness and prey composition of round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) from three areas in the Trent River (Ontario) representing areas of initial introduction and subsequent expansion. Round goby had been present at the area of original introduction since 2003, and by 2007/2008, their range had expanded upstream and downstream into the outermost reaches sampled in the study. Catch per unit angling effort in nearshore sites indicated that round goby density in the area of original introduction was more than double their density in the upstream expansion area and nearly three times the density in the downstream expansion area. Gut fullness index was lower in gobies from the area of original introduction than for those at the upstream and downstream edges of their expanded range. The most dramatic difference in diet composition was with dreissenids, where large gobies (≥70 mm) occupying the area of original introduction had almost no dreissenid biomass in their guts, whereas dreissenids were the predominant prey type in gobies occupying the two expansion areas. Post-hoc zebra mussel density in the area of original introduction was an order of magnitude lower than in the two expansion areas which, combined with the differences in stomach fullness and prey composition, suggest that local, density-related reduction of this prey type was occurring in the river.

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Acknowledgements

T. Whillans, S.J. Cooke and A. McDonald provided helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This project was supported by a National Science and Engineering Council Discovery Grant to MGF.

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Correspondence to Michael G. Fox.

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Raby, G.D., Gutowsky, L.F.G. & Fox, M.G. Diet composition and consumption rate in round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in its expansion phase in the Trent River, Ontario. Environ Biol Fish 89, 143–150 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10641-010-9705-y

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Keywords

  • Dreissenid
  • Invasive species
  • Macroinvertebrate
  • Range expansion