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Prey size of salmonid fishes in streams, lakes, and oceans


Prey size of salmonid fishes in streams, lakes, and oceans

Keeley, Ernest Robert and Grant, James W.A. (2001) Prey size of salmonid fishes in streams, lakes, and oceans. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 58 (6). pp. 1122-1132. ISSN 0706-652X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/f01-060


The growth rate of salmonid fishes is typically fastest in oceans, intermediate in lakes, and slowest in streams. We compiled literature data to test whether differences in the size of prey eaten by salmonids in the three habitats could account for these differences in growth rate (i.e., the prey-size hypothesis). In all three habitats, salmonid fishes exhibited ontogenetic niche shifts from feeding primarily on invertebrates when small to feeding on fishes when large. Contrary to the prey-size hypothesis, invertebrates eaten in streams were larger than those eaten in lakes or oceans, whereas fish eaten in oceans were smaller than those eaten in streams or lakes. Consistent with the prey-size hypothesis, salmonids began eating fish at a smaller size in oceans (8 cm) than in lakes (15 cm) or streams (27 cm). However, the size at which salmonids became predominantly piscivorous (31 cm) did not differ significantly between habitats. We suggest that the difference in growth potential between the three habitats is partly related to the size at which fish first enter the diet.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Biology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Keeley, Ernest Robert and Grant, James W.A.
Journal or Publication:Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Date:June 2001
ID Code:7548
Deposited On:10 May 2011 20:45
Last Modified:10 May 2011 20:45
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