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Trophic interactions among native and introduced fishes in a northern Patagonian oligotrophic lake

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In summer the littoral zone of Lake Rivadavia contained almost all the juveniles of the native fish species present in the lake together with juveniles of the introduced salmonid Oncorhynchus mykiss. In particular, a high degree of foraging interaction was found among juveniles of the native species Aplochiton zebra and Percichthys trucha and juveniles O. mykiss. Differences in the juvenile assemblage composition, both in the presence and in the relative proportion of the species were associated with areas with different densities of vegetation. The adults of nearly all species were generalized benthic invertebrate predators. Only adults of A. zebra were absent in the littoral. Juvenile and adult O. mykiss were the only fish that preyed on planktonic organisms. Oncorhynchus mykiss was the only species that performed an ontogenetic diet shift between juveniles and adults, changing main prey categories from benthic to planktonic species.

Keywords: Aplochiton zebra; diet overlap; feeding habits; littoral zone; ontogenetic shifts; salmonid introductions

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (CADIC-CONICET), B. Houssay 200, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina 2: Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Quintral 1250, S. C. de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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