Top-down control of a meiobenthic community by two juvenile freshwater fish species

Weber S, Traunspurger W (2014)
Aquatic Ecology 48(4): 465-480.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
Top-down control of prey assemblages by fish predation has been clearly demonstrated for zooplankton and macroinvertebrates. However, in the benthic communities of freshwater ecosystems, the impact of fish predation on meiofaunal assemblages is nearly unknown. In this study, the predation effects of juvenile carp (Cyprinus carpio) and gudgeon (Gobio gobio) on meiofaunal abundance, biomass, community structure, and the diversity of nematodes were examined using microcosms that were sampled repeatedly over 64 days. Significant differences in abundance and biomass were found between the two fish treatments (carp and gudgeon) and their respective controls for nematodes, oligochaetes, and crustaceans (copepods, harpacticoids, ostracods, and cladocerans), but not for rotifers. These changes were consistent with top-down control of the freshwater meiofaunal assemblages in the microcosms over time. By contrast, small-bodied meiofauna was more abundant, suggesting indirect facilitation. Neither the species richness nor the diversity of the nematode community was affected by fish predation. The results indicate that predation by juvenile freshwater fish depresses the overall abundance and biomass of meiofaunal assemblages, except for rotifers, and alters the size structure of the meiofaunal community. Therefore, the meiofaunal assemblages of freshwater ecosystems may be influenced by bottom-feeding juvenile fish, e.g., carp and gudgeon, through top-down control of meiofaunal populations.
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Weber S, Traunspurger W. Top-down control of a meiobenthic community by two juvenile freshwater fish species. Aquatic Ecology. 2014;48(4):465-480.
Weber, S., & Traunspurger, W. (2014). Top-down control of a meiobenthic community by two juvenile freshwater fish species. Aquatic Ecology, 48(4), 465-480.
Weber, S., and Traunspurger, W. (2014). Top-down control of a meiobenthic community by two juvenile freshwater fish species. Aquatic Ecology 48, 465-480.
Weber, S., & Traunspurger, W., 2014. Top-down control of a meiobenthic community by two juvenile freshwater fish species. Aquatic Ecology, 48(4), p 465-480.
S. Weber and W. Traunspurger, “Top-down control of a meiobenthic community by two juvenile freshwater fish species”, Aquatic Ecology, vol. 48, 2014, pp. 465-480.
Weber, S., Traunspurger, W.: Top-down control of a meiobenthic community by two juvenile freshwater fish species. Aquatic Ecology. 48, 465-480 (2014).
Weber, Sebastian, and Traunspurger, Walter. “Top-down control of a meiobenthic community by two juvenile freshwater fish species”. Aquatic Ecology 48.4 (2014): 465-480.
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