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Does browning-induced light limitation reduce fish body growth through shifts in prey composition or reduced foraging rates?

Van Dorst, Renee and Gårdmark, Anna and Svanback, Richard and Huss, Magnus (2020). Does browning-induced light limitation reduce fish body growth through shifts in prey composition or reduced foraging rates? Freshwater Biology. 65 , 947-959
[Research article]

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Abstract

Browning of waters, coupled to climate change and land use changes, can strongly affect aquatic ecosystems. Browning-induced light limitation may have negative effects on aquatic consumers via shifts in resource composition and availability and by negatively affecting foraging of consumers relying on vision. However, the extent to which light limitation caused by browning affects fish via either of these two pathways is largely unknown. Here we specifically test if fish growth responses to browning in a pelagic food web are best explained by changes in resource availability and composition due to light limitation, or by reduced foraging rates due to decreased visual conditions. To address this question, we set up a mesocosm experiment to study growth responses of two different fish species to browning and conducted an aquaria experiment to study species-specific fish foraging responses to browning. Furthermore, we used a space-for-time approach to analyse fish body length-at-age across >40 lakes with a large gradient in lake water colour to validate experimental findings on species-specific fish growth responses. With browning, we found an increase in chlorophyll a concentrations, shifts in zooplankton community composition, and a decrease in perch (Perca fluviatilis) but not roach (Rutilus rutilus) body growth. We conclude that fish growth responses are most likely to be linked to the observed shift in prey (zooplankton) composition. In contrast, we found limited evidence for reduced perch, but not roach, foraging rates in response to browning. This suggests that light limitation led to lower body growth of perch in brown waters mainly through shifts in resource composition and availability, perhaps in combination with decreased visibility. Finally, with the lake study we confirmed that perch but not roach body growth and length-at-age are negatively affected by brown waters in the wild. In conclusion, using a combination of experimental and observational data, we show that browning of lakes is likely to (continue to) result in reductions in fish body growth of perch, but not roach, as a consequence of shifts in prey availability and composition, and perhaps reduced foraging.

Authors/Creators:Van Dorst, Renee and Gårdmark, Anna and Svanback, Richard and Huss, Magnus
Title:Does browning-induced light limitation reduce fish body growth through shifts in prey composition or reduced foraging rates?
Series Name/Journal:Freshwater Biology
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:65
Page range:947-959
Number of Pages:13
Publisher:WILEY
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SLU - Environmental assessment > Programme Lakes and watercourses
ISSN:0046-5070
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Fish and Aquacultural Science
Keywords:climate change, pelagic food web, perch, roach, water colour
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-104407
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-104407
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/fwb.13481
Web of Science (WoS)000509968600001
ID Code:21258
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:18 Jan 2021 12:23
Metadata Last Modified:18 Jan 2021 12:31

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