In the littoral zones of lakes, aquatic macrophytes produce considerable structural variation that can provide protection to prey communities by hindering predator foraging activity. The swimming and feeding behaviour of a planktivore, Pseudorasbora parva(Cyprinidae) on its prey (Daphnia pulex) was studied in a series of laboratory experiments with varying densities (0, 350, 700, 1400, 2100 and 2800 stems m−2) of simulated submerged vegetation. Prey availability was varied from 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 5.0, 10.0 and 25.0 prey l−1. As the stem density increased, the predator's swimming speed and the number of prey captured decreased relative to feeding in open water. A good relation existed between the number of successful prey captures and swimming speed with the average stem distance to fish body length ratio (D). An abrupt reduction in feeding and swimming was recorded when D was reduced to values less than one.
Hydrobiologia – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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