Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract To compare the vertical distributions of benthos and fish species of Upper Lake Constance (Bodensee), 552 benthos samples were taken with an Auerbach grab at four transects (10–250 m). An additional 54 samples (1–10 m) were collected elsewhere. Complementary data was taken from the literature. In winter, most fish feed on benthos, mainly chironomids, but in summer less than 5% do so. Formerly the bottom gill-netting aimed mainly at catchingCoregonus pidschian, but it now aims atPerca fluviatilis. Contrary to expectation, in winter the greatest abundance ofP. fluviatilis is much deeper (55 m) than that of its preferred food, i.e. chironomids (〈20 m). Comparably,C. pidschian also stayed deeper than its main food source (chironomids and mollusks).Lota lota, Salvelinus profundus andS. alpinus — unlike the unwanted cyprinids — also stay or stayed deeper than the attractive chironomids. It is argued that the fish reduce their “predation risk”, i.e. the risk of being gillnetted in the upper 50 m, by “selecting” the deeper less dangerous, but also less food-abundant habitat. Balancing predation risk against food abundance may have led to “survival of the deepest”.
Type of Medium: