Title: Is Ecological Segregation in a Pair of Sympatric Coregonines Supported by Divergent Feeding Efficiencies?
Authors: OHLBERGER JanMEHNER ThomasSTAAKS GeorgHOELKER FRANZ
Citation: CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC SCIENCES vol. 65 p. 2105-2113
Publisher: NATL RESEARCH COUNCIL CANADA-N R C RESEARCH PRESS
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC46083
ISSN: 0706-652X
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC46083
DOI: 10.1139/F08-120
Type: Articles in Journals
Abstract: Some of the sympatric species pairs commonly described in temperate freshwater fishes provide evidence for ecological specialization driven by competition for food resources as a potential pre-requisite of subsequent sympatric speciation. In the postglacial Lake Stechlin, two sympatric coregonines coexist, common vendace (Coregonus albula) and endemic dwarf-sized Fontane cisco (C. fontanae). The species segregate vertically along the light intensity and prey density gradients of their pelagic environment. Accordingly, we hypothesized that the species might show differences in their foraging efficiency associated with these environmental gradients. We investigated the feeding behaviour by measuring the functional response of both species to Daphnia magna at various prey densities (0.25 to 8 ind¿L-1) and light intensities (0.005 to 5 lux) at a deep blue light spectrum to simulate their natural habitat. Decreasing light intensity and prey density significantly depressed consumption rates in both species. Overall, we observed only weak differences in feeding behaviour, which indicates that the species are functionally similar coexisting planktivores. Keywords: Coregonus, ecological segregation, functional response, light, sympatric species
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