Effects of juvenile fish predation (Cyprinus carpio L.) on the composition and diversity of free-living freshwater nematode assemblages

in Nematology
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Free-living nematodes are well recognised as an abundant and ubiquitous component of meiobenthic communities, where they serve as a link between microbial production and higher trophic levels. However, the effect of fish predation on nematode assemblages is almost unknown. In this study, the predation effects of the benthivorous juvenile carp (Cyprinus carpio) on nematode abundance, biomass, diversity and species composition in the littoral zone of a natural freshwater pond were examined over 310 days using field enclosures and exclosures. Fish predation altered the abundance and biomass of nematodes, and especially of the dominant species Tobrilus gracilis, Eumonhystera filiformis and Monhystera paludicola/stagnalis. Species richness and species composition, but not the diversity and feeding type of nematode assemblages, were affected by fish predation. Our study provides insights into the food-web ecology of lakes and the first evidence of freshwater fish predation effects on nematode assemblages in a natural habitat.

Effects of juvenile fish predation (Cyprinus carpio L.) on the composition and diversity of free-living freshwater nematode assemblages

in Nematology



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  • View in gallery

    Mean density (ind. 10 cm−2) (A) and mean biomass (μg dry weight 10 cm−2) (B) of nematodes in response to the different treatments during the field study (n=5; ±SD). Note that the fish were removed from the fish treatment after 80 days to allow recovery of the nematode community (shown in the figure as the recovery phase). Also note the scale change of the y-axis between figure parts.

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    Mean density (ind. 10 cm−2) (A) and mean biomass (μg dry weight 10 cm−2) (B) of Eumonhystera filiformis, Monhystera paludicola/stagnalis and Tobrilus gracilis in response to the different treatments during the field study (n=5; ±SD). Note that the fish were removed from the fish treatment after 80 days to allow recovery of the nematode community (shown in the figure as the recovery phase). Also note the scale change of the y-axis between figure parts.

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    Nematode cumulative species richness (A), species density (mean ± SD) (B) and Shannon diversity (mean ± SD) (C) in response to the different treatments during the field study (n=5). Note that the fish were removed from the fish treatment after 80 days to allow recovery of the nematode community (shown in the figure as the recovery phase). Also note the scale change of the y-axis between figure parts.

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