Density-dependent effects of omnivorous bitterling (Acheilognathus macropterus) on nutrient and plankton communities: implications for lake management and restoration

Jinlei Yu, Manli Xia, Wei Zhen, Ruijie Shen, Hu He, Baohua Guan, James J. Elser, Zhengwen Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Shallow lakes are dominated by small omnivorous fish, but the roles of these small fish in aquatic ecosystems are not well-known. A small omnivorous bitterling (Acheilognathus macropterus) has been found to be dominant after lake restoration in shallow lakes. We conducted a mesocosm experiment to examine the effects of bitterling on water quality and plankton communities. Bitterling significantly increased the concentrations of nutrients, chlorophyll a (Chla) and suspended solids (TSS), and decreased the light intensity. The abundance and biomass of phytoplankton in the fish-present treatment were significantly higher than the controls, with Microcystis spp. and Dolichospermum spp. dominating the phytoplankton community. However, bitterling did not significantly affect the abundance and biomass of zooplankton, although the presence of bitterling shifted the community structure to dominance by small-sized species. Density-dependent effects of bitterling were observed on the concentrations of nutrient, TSS, organic suspended solids and Chla and on light intensity, but were not found for plankton and ratio of zooplankton to phytoplankton biomass. Our study indicates that A. macropterus can negatively affect water quality and facilitate the dominance of cyanobacteria. Therefore, monitoring and control of these small omnivorous species should be emphasized when restoring or managing shallow lakes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3309-3319
Number of pages11
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume847
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Keywords

  • Eutrophication
  • Lake restoration
  • Omnivore
  • Phytoplankton
  • Water quality
  • Zooplankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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