Ontogenetic changes in prey preference and foraging ability of yellow perch: Insights based on relative energetic return of prey

Brian D.S. Graeb, Matthew T. Mangan, Jeffrey C. Jolley, David H. Wahl, John M. Dettmers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ontogenetic diet shifts are an important component of the early life history of many fishes. Successfully shifting diets affects not only individuals but also populations and communities. We experimentally quantified prey selection and feeding behavior of age-0 yellow perch Perca flavescens to determine the sizes at which diet shifts occur and identify potential mechanisms driving these shifts. Yellow perch were provided three prey types (zooplankton, benthic invertebrates, and fish) at high- and low-density combinations. Small yellow perch (20 mm total length [TL]) positively selected zooplankton, but intermediate-sized fish (40 and 60 mm TL) shifted to benthic invertebrates. At 80 mm TL, yellow perch positively selected benthic invertebrate and fish prey, indicating the onset of piscivory. Relative densities of prey items did not influence prey selection patterns. Diet shifts from zooplankton to benthic invertebrates to fish prey were supported by an increased energetic gain and decreased foraging costs for each prey type as age-0 yellow perch size increased. Quantifying prey selection and foraging behavior under various prey densities can be used to better understand mechanisms governing ontogenetic diet shifts in fishes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1493-1498
Number of pages6
JournalTransactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume135
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Ontogenetic changes in prey preference and foraging ability of yellow perch: Insights based on relative energetic return of prey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this