Stoll, Stefan

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Effect of wave exposure dynamics on gut content mass and growth of young-of-the-year fishes in the littoral zone of lakes

2010-05, Stoll, Stefan, Hofmann, Hilmar, Fischer, Philipp

Total length, body mass and gut content mass of young-of-the-year (YOY) perch Perca fluviatilis, dace Leuciscus leuciscus and bleak Alburnus alburnus were recorded over the summer of 2006 at three littoral sites at Upper Lake Constance. In P. fluviatilis and L. leuciscus, gut content mass correlated positively with wave-induced energy flux (EF) of the respective site and sampling day, while no correlation of gut content mass with EF was found in A. alburnus. It was assumed that benthivorous P. fluviatilis and L. leuciscus profited from suspended or uncovered benthic food items generated by wave action at sites and periods with high EF. Alburnus alburnus, in contrast, feeding mainly on zooplankton in upper parts of the water column, could not profit from increased EF. In P. fluviatilis, increased gut content mass during periods of high EF resulted in higher growth rates. For L. leuciscus, no real growth rates in local fish populations could be determined, as individuals were less sedentary, and when increased growth occurred at sites during the periods of high EF, migration of fish levelled out the resulting size differences within few days. The results of this study show that dynamic habitat variables affect site profitability in the littoral zone of lakes, especially in benthivorous fishes. Therefore, dynamic habitat variables should be considered in addition to fixed habitat properties in analyses of habitat choice of fishes in the littoral zone of lakes.


Spawning site selection by Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) in relation to temperature and wave exposure

2009, Probst, Wolfgang Nikolaus, Stoll, Stefan, Hofmann, Hilmar, Fischer, Philipp, Eckmann, Reiner

The selection of spawning depth by Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis was investigated in an experiment using artificial substrata in Lake Constance during the spawning season of 2007. The experiment compared spawning behaviour at substrata between 0.5 and 15 m depth at two sites exposed to different regimes of ship-generated wave action. The total abundance of egg ribbons did not differ significantly between the two sites, but the preferred spawning depth was deeper at the wave exposed site (5 m) compared to the sheltered site (2 m). While water temperatures could not account for the observations, differences in wave exposure may explain the different spawning depth preferences. At both sites, large egg ribbons were generally found in deeper water, and large egg ribbons occurred more frequently at the sheltered site. Because the egg ribbons of perch are likely to have a size-dependent susceptibility to hydrodynamic stress, large females may be expected to select deeper spawning locations where the effects of surface waves are considerably attenuated.


Effects of water depth and hydrodynamics on the growth and distribution of juvenile cyprinids in the littoral zone of a large pre-alpine lake

2008, Stoll, Stefan, Fischer, Philipp, Klahold, Petra, Scheifhacken, Nicole, Hofmann, Hilmar, Rothhaupt, Karl-Otto

In enclosure experiments in the littoral zone of Lake Constance, Germany, juvenile cyprinids showed significantly reduced somatic growth in the shallow eulittoral zone (0 to 5 m depth)compared to the sublittoral zone (1 to 6 m depth). Growth was especially reduced in larger and more deep-bodied fish groups, providing evidence that this is due to increased hydrodynamic stress, induced by ship and wind waves, in the shallow habitats compared to the deep habitat. Other factors such as water temperature and food availability seemed to be of minor importance for the observed growth differences. Gillnet catches at the experimental site and an adjacent site showed that most juvenile cyprinids, including the species from the enclosure study, bream Abramis brama and dace Leuciscus leuciscus, nonetheless prefer shallow habitats compared to deeper sublittoral habitats. Juvenile cyprinids in Lake Constance may prefer these shallow habitats as refuges against larger piscivorous predators, mainly perch Perca fluviatilis, despite the cost in terms of reduced somatic growth indicating that juvenile cyprinids first of all optimize survival rate instead of somatic growth rate.