Feeding strategy and growth of cyprinids in the littoral zone of Lake Balaton

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The growth, diet and feeding strategy of five phytophil or phytolithophil species of Cyprinidae from the littoral habitats of Lake Balaton were investigated by examining their scales and foregut contents. The relationships between the total anterior radii of scales and the standard lengths were represented best by a power function for white bream Blicca bjoerkna, and linear functions for common bream Abramis brama, roach Rutilus rutilus and wild goldfish Carassius auratus gibelio, respectively. The backcalculated mean lengths for the first age groups of common bream, white bream and roach did not differ statistically from those obtained by direct observation on 0 group fish in late November 1995. Compared to other waters, common bream grows slowly, wild goldfish and roach rapidly, while the growth rate of white bream can be considered of medium speed in Lake Balaton. Common bream showed a generalized feeding pattern, consuming mainly chironomid larvae, detritus and Corophium curvispinum. Roach showed a clear shift between specialization for Dreissena and algae. Despite the dense population of D. polymorpha in the lake, the significance of the herbivorous adaptation of roach has not yet been made clear. Wild goldfish consumed mainly detritus but, in the open water region, it shifted to zooplankton. White bream preyed chiefly on D. polymorpha, but showed a mixed feeding pattern and utilized most of the available food resources. Carp had the most specialized feeding strategy and preyed mainly on D. polymorpha. According to the discriminant analysis, the five cyprinids exhibited significant food resource partitioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1124
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1997


  • Cyprinidae
  • Diet shift
  • Feeding strategy
  • Growth
  • Littoral zone
  • Resource partitioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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