, Volume 491, Issue 1–3, pp 331–346 | Cite as

Effects of different fish species and biomass on plankton interactions in a shallow lake

  • Adrian E. Williams
  • Brian Moss


Thirty-six enclosures, surface area 4 m2, were placed in Little Mere, a shallow fertile lake in Cheshire, U.K. The effects of different fish species (common carp, common bream, tench and roach) of zooplanktivorous size, and their biomass (0, 200 and 700 kg ha−1) on water chemistry, zooplankton and phytoplankton communities were investigated. Fish biomass had a strong effect on mean zooplankton size and abundance. When fish biomass rose, larger zooplankters were replaced by more numerous smaller zooplankters. Consequently phytoplankton abundance rose in the presence of higher densities of zooplanktivorous fish, as zooplankton grazing was reduced. Fish species were also significant in determining zooplankton community size structure. In enclosures with bream there were significantly greater densities of small zooplankters than in enclosures stocked with either carp, tench and, in part, roach. When carp or roach were present, the phytoplankton had a greater abundance of Cyanophyta than when bream or tench were present. Whilst top-down effects of fish predation controlled the size partitioning of the zooplankton community, this, in turn apparently controlled the bottom-up regeneration of nutrients for the phytoplankton community. At the zooplankton–phytoplankton interface, both top-down and bottom-up processes were entwined in a reciprocal feedback mechanism with the extent and direction of that relationship altered by changes in fish species. This has consequences for the way that top-down and bottom-up processes are generalised.

cyprinid fish zooplankton phytoplankton trophic cascade biomanipulation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian E. Williams
    • 1
  • Brian Moss
    • 1
  1. 1.Derby Building, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolU.K.

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