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Prey vulnerability to a gape-size limited predator: behavioural and morphological impacts on northern pike piscivory

Nilsson, Anders LU and Brönmark, Christer LU (2000) In Oikos 88(3). p.539-546
Abstract
The northern pike (Esox lucius) is a selective and important predator in lake ecosystems. Prey size in pike is limited by pike gape size, which is a linear function of pike body length. Here we show that the absolute gape-size limit in pike is greater than previously considered, and that maximum ingestible prey size is limited by prey body depth. Further, we experimentally show that pike prefer shallow-bodied roach before deeper-bodied common bream, and small prey sizes within each prey species. Handling lime in pike increases with prey body depth, and since common bream are deeper-bodied than roach, handling time is longer for bream than for roach of the same length, but equal considering body depth. Prey handling time is suggested to be... (More)
The northern pike (Esox lucius) is a selective and important predator in lake ecosystems. Prey size in pike is limited by pike gape size, which is a linear function of pike body length. Here we show that the absolute gape-size limit in pike is greater than previously considered, and that maximum ingestible prey size is limited by prey body depth. Further, we experimentally show that pike prefer shallow-bodied roach before deeper-bodied common bream, and small prey sizes within each prey species. Handling lime in pike increases with prey body depth, and since common bream are deeper-bodied than roach, handling time is longer for bream than for roach of the same length, but equal considering body depth. Prey handling time is suggested to be a major cost to the pike, since it increases the risk of Losing the prey, as well as exposure to predation, kleptoparasitism and cannibalism. Consequently, prey vulnerability is determined by risk of predation and intraspecific interactions, and behavioural preferences in the pike, and not by pike gape-size limits. The consequences for natural populations is evaluated by analysing size structures of predator and prey fish populations in a eutrophic lake. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Oikos
volume
88
issue
3
pages
539 - 546
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:0343415581
ISSN
1600-0706
DOI
10.1034/j.1600-0706.2000.880310.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
10f7eeb9-7dec-42a9-92f8-66f4159bc6b0 (old id 146726)
date added to LUP
2007-06-28 15:39:36
date last changed
2017-07-30 03:30:55
@article{10f7eeb9-7dec-42a9-92f8-66f4159bc6b0,
  abstract     = {The northern pike (Esox lucius) is a selective and important predator in lake ecosystems. Prey size in pike is limited by pike gape size, which is a linear function of pike body length. Here we show that the absolute gape-size limit in pike is greater than previously considered, and that maximum ingestible prey size is limited by prey body depth. Further, we experimentally show that pike prefer shallow-bodied roach before deeper-bodied common bream, and small prey sizes within each prey species. Handling lime in pike increases with prey body depth, and since common bream are deeper-bodied than roach, handling time is longer for bream than for roach of the same length, but equal considering body depth. Prey handling time is suggested to be a major cost to the pike, since it increases the risk of Losing the prey, as well as exposure to predation, kleptoparasitism and cannibalism. Consequently, prey vulnerability is determined by risk of predation and intraspecific interactions, and behavioural preferences in the pike, and not by pike gape-size limits. The consequences for natural populations is evaluated by analysing size structures of predator and prey fish populations in a eutrophic lake.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Anders and Brönmark, Christer},
  issn         = {1600-0706},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {539--546},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Oikos},
  title        = {Prey vulnerability to a gape-size limited predator: behavioural and morphological impacts on northern pike piscivory},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0706.2000.880310.x},
  volume       = {88},
  year         = {2000},
}