Habitat use and foraging success of 0+pike ( Esox lucius L.) in experimental ponds related to prey fish, water transparency and light intensity

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This study investigated the habitat use of 0+ pike (9-17 cm.) in relation to two different water transparency regimes (clear water/ chlorophyll water), two different light regimes (day/night) and the 2 presence/absence of prey using 16 in experimental ponds. Pike could freely choose between two structured habitats (a simple structured and a complex structured), an interface habitat (between the structured habitats and open water) and an open water habitat. Foraging success of the pike in relation to water transparency was investigated by comparing mean condition (Fultons K of the pike as well as the number of surviving prey fish. Habitat use was influenced by the presence/absence of prey and varied between waters with different transparency. The presence of prey intensified the use of structural habitats of 0+ pike in both clear and chlorophyll waters. A preference for complex habitats was found in clear water and was presumably related to foraging. The pike in chlorophyll water, in contrast, appeared more evenly distributed among all habitats, as illustrated by a more intensive use of open water in chlorophyll water compared to the clear water. No detectable impact of water transparency on the foraging success of 0+ pike was found.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcology of Freshwater Fish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)65-73
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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