Influence of environmental factors and individual traits on the diet of non-native hybrid bigheaded carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix × H. nobilis) in Lake Balaton, Hungary

Attila Mozsár, András Specziár, Izabella Battonyai, Gábor Borics, Judit Görgényi, Hajnalka Horváth, Mátyás Présing, László G.-Tóth, Zoltán Vitál, Gergely Boros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Planktivorous silver carp and bighead carp (collectively, the bigheaded carps) have been stocked worldwide and their invasion has caused severe impacts on many freshwater ecosystems. Exploiting the chance provided by the specific hybrid bigheaded carp stock in Lake Balaton (Hungary) covering the entire morphological range between the two species (including gill raker morphology), we implemented a comprehensive study (1) to reveal the feeding habits of hybrid bigheaded carps living in a mesotrophic, lacustrine habitat and (2) to assess how biotic and abiotic environmental factors and gill raker morphology affect diet composition. We found that all bigheaded carps utilized primarily zooplankton and neglected the scarce and inefficiently digestible phytoplankton, irrespective of gill raker morphology. Moreover, we observed strikingly high levels of inorganic debris consumption, but the proportion of inorganic matter in the guts was not associated directly with the concentration of suspended inorganic particles. Variance in the diet composition of bigheaded carps was related mostly to environmental factors, including the wind-induced resuspension of inorganic particles and seasonally variable availability of food resources. In conclusion, the effects of abiotic environmental factors and available food resources could overwhelm the effect of gill raker morphology in shaping the feeding habits of bigheaded carps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-332
Number of pages16
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume794
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • Asian carp
  • Filter-feeding
  • Hybrid fishes
  • Introduced fish species
  • Planktivory
  • Zooplankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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