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Response of fish communities to different levels of white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) biomanipulation in five temperate lakes

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Abstract:

The goal of this study was to evaluate the response of white sucker (Catostomus commersoni), brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), and other fish species to the mass removal of white sucker in five Québec (Canada) lakes. White sucker removal ranged from 14.2 kg·ha–1 to 31.3 kg·ha–1 3 years after mass removal. In four of the study lakes, the proportion of 2+ to 4+ white sucker increased following mass removal. Mean catch and biomass per unit of effort of 1+ brook trout increased significantly in the lakes where white sucker removal was highest. All white sucker populations experienced growth increases after mass removal, and improved brook trout growth was observed in lakes where the most intensive mass removal occurred. These growth increases led to higher mean length at maturity in white sucker females and decreases in mean age at maturity in white sucker males and brook trout males and females. Mean adjusted fecundity significantly increased in white sucker and brook trout in lakes where mass removal was most intense. The present study suggests that white sucker and brook trout exhibit compensatory responses following a reduction of intra- and inter-specific competition and that these responses are related to the intensity of mass removal.

Le but de cette étude était d'évaluer la réponse du meunier noir (Catostomus commersoni), de l'omble de fontaine (Salvelinus fontinalis) et des autres espèces présentes face au retrait massif du meunier noir dans cinq lacs du Québec (Canada). Le retrait massif du meunier noir a varié entre 14.2 kg·ha–1 et 31.3 kg·ha–1 après trois ans de retrait massif. La proportion des meuniers de deux à quatre ans (2+ à 4+) a augmenté suite au retrait massif dans quatre des cinq lacs à l'étude. Les prises et biomasses par unité d'effort des ombles de fontaine de un an (1+) ont augmenté significativement dans les lacs où le retrait massif du meunier noir a été le plus important. Toutes les populations de meunier noir ont affiché une augmentation de croissance suite au retrait massif alors que des augmentations de croissance ont été observées chez l'omble de fontaine seulement, dans les lacs où le retrait massif a été le plus intense. Ces augmentations de croissance ont entraîné une augmentation de la longueur à maturité du meunier noir ainsi que des diminutions de l'âge à maturité des mâles du meunier noir et des mâles et femelles de l'omble de fontaine. La fécondité moyenne ajustée des meuniers et des ombles a augmenté dans les lacs où le retrait massif a été le plus important. Cette étude suggère que le meunier noir et l'omble de fontaine affichent des réponses compensatoires suite à des réductions de compétition intra- et interspécifique et que ces réponses sont fonction de l'intensité du retrait massif.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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