Effect of temperature and roach Rutilus rutilus group size on swimming speed and prey capture rate of perch Perca fluviatilis and R. rutilus
Effects of temperature and group size of roach Rutilus rutilus on foraging behaviour of perch Perca fluviatilis and R. rutilus were tested in two laboratory experiments. A temperature experiment with P. fluviatilis and R. rutilus in aquaria (with either one P. fluviatilis or two R. rutilus) was tested at five temperatures: 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20° C, and showed that P. fluviatilis had a lower swimming speed and capture rate than R. rutilus, especially at 4 and 8° C. The effect of group size was tested at four R. rutilus abundances: 0, 2, 4 and 6, all at 16° C, and revealed that swimming speed and capture rate of P. fluviatilis were lowest at the highest R. rutilus abundance, whereas R. rutilus was relatively unaffected. Perca fluviatilis occupied positions closer to the bottom than R. rutilus, especially when feeding, and this tendency was reinforced at the highest roach abundance.
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