We compared survival, growth, and swimming performance of two size classes of age-0 largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, in the spring after being fed diets of bluegill, Lepomis macrochirus, fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas, or invertebrate prey during the winter. Regardless of prey assemblage, survival was uniformly high and independent of size. Length, wet- and dry-mass, and condition was also similar among treatments for both size classes. However, variation in individual performance differed, with the lowest variability in growth occurring among small age-0 largemouth bass in the invertebrate only treatment. Absolute and length corrected swimming speeds of largemouth bass were highest for invertebrate prey assemblages, intermediate for fathead minnow prey, and lowest for bluegill prey. The patterns in growth and spring swimming performance likely reflect the varied nutritive quality of different prey, the ability of largemouth bass to capture different prey, and competition with the piscine prey.
- Micropterus salmoides
- Swimming performance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science