Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 171
Title: A comparison of habitat use and habitat-specific feeding efficiency by Eurasion ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens)
Author: A. H. Fullerton, G. A. Lamberti
Publication Year: 2006
Journal: Ecology of Freshwater Fish
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
Pages: 1-9
Keywords: nonindigenous species, habitat preference, feeding rates, competition, Eurasian ruffe, yellow perch, Great Lakes

Eurasian ruffe are invading habitats in the North American Great Lakes watershed occupied by commercially-important native yellow perch. We conducted laboratory experiments to evaluate potential overlap in habitat (macrophytes, mud, cobble) and food (benthic invertebrates) use. Ruffe and yellow perch both preferred macrophytes > cobble > mud in the light, but only ruffe increased their use of mud in the dark. Neither fish density nor food availability affected habitat preferences, and competition for habitat was not evident. For both species, feeding rates were marginally lower in macrophytes but did not differ between species. Our experiments suggest that if ruffe and yellow perch share a habitat (e.g., during invasion or because of predation risk), competition for space will be weak or absent. However, within a shared habitat, competition for food may occur when food is limiting because neither species has a clear advantage in its ability to consume invertebrates in any habitat.

URL1: The next link will exit from NWFSC web site http://dx.doi/org/10.1111/j.1600-0633.2005.00114.x
Notes: Published online 23 September 2005; in print March 2006.