Isotopic variation complicates analysis of trophic relations within the fish community of Plußsee: a small, deep, stratifying lake

Christopher Harrod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Analysis of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes has allowed freshwater ecologists to examine lake food webs in increasing detail. Many such studies have highlighted the existence of separate within-lake pelagic and benthic-littoral food webs but are typically conducted on large (> 10 km2) lakes, whereas the majority of lakes are actually relatively small. We used stable isotope analysis (δ13C & δ15N) to examine trophic interactions between fish and their prey in Plu�see, as an example of a small, stratifying lake, and to determine whether separate pelagic/benthic-littoral food webs could be distinguished in such systems. Our results indicate that the Plu�see food web was complicated, and due to extensive intra-annual isotopic variation in zooplankton (e.g. cladoceran δ13C annual range = 25.6�), it may be impossible to definitively assign consumers from small, eutrophic stratified lakes to pelagic or benthic-littoral food webs. We present evidence that some components of the Plu�see food web (large bream) may be subsidised by carbon of methanogenic origin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-299
Number of pages19
JournalArchiv für Hydrobiologie
Volume167
Issue number1-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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