Effects of waterfowl and fish on submerged vegetation and macroinvertebrates

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Abstract

1. With the aim to assess the combined and separate effects of waterfowl and fish on submerged vegetation and macroinvertebrates, we performed a replicated selective exclosure study in a shallow, eutrophic lake in southern Sweden. Our results are presented together with a literature review of the effects of fish and waterfowl on macroinvertebrates and submerged vegetation. 2. Based on our experiment and on published data, we conclude that waterfowl normally will reduce submerged vegetation only at high waterfowl densities, at very low vegetation densities, or in the colonisation phase of the vegetation. 3. Further, we conclude that in shallow temperate eutrophic lakes, a naturally occurring mixed fish assemblage rarely reduces submerged vegetation. Unless the vegetation is very sparse, the risk of severe reduction of submerged vegetation as a result of waterfowl or fish grazing, should thereby be low. 4. Even relatively low densities of fish seem to reduce macroinvertebrate biomass, while a mixed waterfowl assemblage rarely has a significant effect on macroinvertebrate biomass.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2049-2059
JournalFreshwater Biology
Volume47
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes