Temporal variation in Lake Balaton and its fish populations

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Dramatic changes have occurred in Lake Balaton in the last 40-45 years. Variations in water quality have resulted in a decrease in fish and invertebrate diversity. Fish assemblages have changed in response to human-induced eutrophication, environmental perturbations, introduction of exotic fish species, over-fishing and species-habitat interactions. Fish biomass and productivity first increased during the early 1970s with enhanced primary production, then decreased with the reduction of exploitation since the late 1970s and induced intra- and interspecific competition. Previous stable populations began to oscillate, and the majority of stocks became fragile by the mid-1980s. Extinction of native fish and invasion of new alien species alternate. Alien species have transformed the food webs, causing long-lasting ecological changes. Reduced and non-selective exploitation has resulted in higher fish density and lower production rates. Recent studies have revealed differences in the carrying capacity of fish between the littoral zone and the open water areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-216
Number of pages21
JournalEcology of Freshwater Fish
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997



  • Alien species
  • Dynamics
  • Exploitation
  • Fish population
  • Human impact
  • Lake Balaton
  • Long-term change
  • Production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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