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Assessing food-web structure, matter fluxes, and system attributes of a Central European mountain stream by performing mass-balanced network analysis

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Trophic interactions and cycling of matter within the community in a soft-water mountain stream were analyzed on the basis of a compartment food-web model. The model describes (i) the structure of the food web, quantifying biomass, production, and consumption of individual elements as well as of the entire system, and (ii) the flow of matter between compartments as well as trophic levels. Detritus and primary producers sustain a broad variety of invertebrate consumers. Fishes are the top predators; sculpin (Cottus gobio) and a compartment consisting of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are at the highest trophic level. Heterotrophic microorganisms (227.1 g dry mass (DW)·m–2·year–1) and aufwuchs algae (150.1 g DW·m–2·year–1) have the highest production. Secondary production of fishes and macroinvertebrates amounts to 2.56 and 19.9 g DW·m–2·year–1, respectively. Total consumption amounts to 1136.41 g DW·m–2·year–1. Main flows occur between the lower trophic levels. Food intake is greatest for microorganisms and Ephemeroptera. A relatively high fraction of invertebrate production is consumed by predators. For 10 of 19 compartments, over 95% of production is used as food by other organisms. Transfer efficiencies are generally low (<10%). A large proportion of matter transfer occurs at the lower discrete trophic levels of the stream.

Nous avons analysé les interactions trophiques et le cycle de la matière d'une communauté de ruisseau à partir d'un modèle des compartiments du réseau trophique. Ce modèle décrit (i) la structure du réseau trophique, en quantifiant la biomasse, la production et la consommation de certains éléments ainsi que de l'ensemble du système, et (ii) le flux de matière entre compartiments et entre niveaux trophiques. Nous avons déterminé que le détritus et les producteurs primaires servent de nourriture à une grande variété d'invertebrés consommateurs. Les prédateurs sont les poissons; Cottus gobio et un compartiment composé des truites de rivière (Salmo trutta) et arc-en-ciel (Oncorhynchus mykiss) ont le niveau trophique le plus élevé. Les plus hautes valeurs de production ont été trouvées chez les micro organismes (227,1 g·m–2·an–1 poids sec (PS)) et le périphyton (150,1 g·m–2·an–1 PS). La production sécondaire des poissons et des macroinvertébrés se monte à 2,56 et 19,9 g·m–2·an–1 PS, respectivement. La consommation totale se monte à 1136,41 g·m–2·an–1 PS. L'ingestion de nourriture est surtout le fait des microorganismes et des ephéméroptères. Les prédateurs prélèvent une fraction relativement élevée de la production des invertébrés. Dans 10 des 19 compartiments, plus de 95 % de la production sert de nourriture à d'autres organismes. Les taux d'efficacité de transfert sont généralement bas (<10 %). Les flux les plus importants relient les niveaux trophiques discrets inférieurs de ruisseau.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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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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