Ann. Limnol. - Int. J. Lim.
Volume 53, 2017
|Page(s)||47 - 56|
|Published online||10 January 2017|
Diet composition changes in tigerfish of Lake Kariba following an invasion by redclaw crayfish
1 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP 167, Mt. Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
2 Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
3 South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, P. Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
4 Department of Freshwater and Fishery Sciences, Chinhoyi University of Technology, P. Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe
5 University Lake Kariba Research Station, P.O. Box 48, Kariba, Zimbabwe
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 23 May 2016
Accepted: 9 November 2016
The present study used a combination of stable isotope techniques and stomach content analyses to examine the diet and ontogenetic diet shifts of tigerfish, Hydrocynus vittatus, in the Sanyati basin of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. We compared tigerfish diet shifts in the presence of an invasive crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus, with previous studies before invasion. Here, we assessed whether tigerfish now had a preference for C. quadricarinatus leading to a shift in its main dietary food sources from cichlids to crayfish. The dominance of cichlids has remained generally high when compared with historical assessments. Stable isotope analyses showed that tigerfish fed on a variety of food sources including those that may be temporarily unavailable. Results of stable isotope analyses also highlighted that C. quadricarinatus was now becoming an important food source across all tigerfish size classes. In conclusion, tigerfish in Lake Kariba showed remarkable dietary plasticity and ontogenetic shifts, identified by both stomach content and stable isotope analyses.
Key words: SIAR / stable isotopes / cichlids / niche overlap / food web / trophic position / ontogenetic shift
© EDP Sciences, 2017
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