Seasonal bottlenecks in diet shifts and growth of smelt in a large eutrophic lake

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Abstract:

Seasonal growth of smelt Osmerus eperlanus was studied in the Kiihkelyksenselkä basin in the eutrophic Lake Hiidenvesi, southern Finland. The growth of age 1+ and 2+ year smelts was very low probably due to the discontinuous supply of large invertebrates Chaoborus flavicans and Mysis relicta. Diet shift back to zooplankton in autumn, suggested the existence of a bottleneck in the growth of these age groups. Slow growth rate was further intensified by the onset of maturity at age 2 years, combined with the high diet and habitat overlaps between similar‐sized 1+ and 2+ year smelts. Older 3+ and 4+ year smelts shifted to piscivory, i.e. cannibalism, during the growing season, which was seen as rapid increases in their growth rates.

Keywords: cannibalism; diet shift; echosounding; growth bottleneck; smelt

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-1112.2004.00323.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Limnology and Environmental Protection, P. O. Box 65, Viikki, FIN-00 014 University of Helsinki, Finland and 2: Finnish Environment Institute, P. O. Box 140, FIN-00 251 Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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