Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 425–438 | Cite as

The Influence of Structural Complexity on Fish–zooplankton Interactions: A Study Using Artificial Submerged Macrophytes

  • Jagath Manatunge
  • Takashi Asaeda
  • Tilak Priyadarshana


Aquatic macrophytes produce considerable structural variation within the littoral zone and as a result the vegetation provides refuge to prey communities by hindering predator foraging activities. The behavior of planktivorous fish Pseudorasbora parva (Cyprinidae) and their zooplankton prey Daphnia pulex were quantified in a series of laboratory experiments with artificial vegetation at densities of 0, 350, 700, 1400, 2100 and 2800 stems m−2. Swimming speeds and foraging rates of the fish were recorded at different prey densities for all stem densities. The foraging efficiency of P. parva decreased significantly with increasing habitat complexity. This decline in feeding efficiency was related to two factors: submerged vegetation impeded swimming behavior and obstructed sight while foraging. This study separated the effects of swimming speed variation and of visual impairment, both due to stems, that led to reduced prey–predator encounters and examined how the reduction of the visual field volume may be predicted using a random encounter model.

Daphnia pulex encounter rates foraging efficiency Pseudorasbora parva visual predation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jagath Manatunge
    • 1
  • Takashi Asaeda
    • 2
  • Tilak Priyadarshana
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences & Human TechnologySaitama UniversitySaitamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences & Human TechnologySaitama UniversitySaitamaJapan

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