Population niche breadth and individual trophic specialisation of fish along a climate-productivity gradient

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Sanchez-Hernandez , J , Hayden , B , Harrod , C & Kahilainen , K K 2021 , ' Population niche breadth and individual trophic specialisation of fish along a climate-productivity gradient ' , Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries , vol. 31 , pp. 1025–1043 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-021-09687-3

Title: Population niche breadth and individual trophic specialisation of fish along a climate-productivity gradient
Author: Sanchez-Hernandez, Javier; Hayden, Brian; Harrod, Chris; Kahilainen, Kimmo K.
Contributor organization: Biological stations
Lammi Biological Station
Date: 2021-10-13
Language: eng
Number of pages: 19
Belongs to series: Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries
ISSN: 0960-3166
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-021-09687-3
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/335773
Abstract: A mechanistic understanding of how environmental change affects trophic ecology of fish at the individual and population level remains elusive. To address this, we conducted a space-for-time approach incorporating environmental gradients (temperature, precipitation and nutrients), lake morphometry (visibility, depth and area), fish communities (richness, competition and predation), prey availability (richness and density) and feeding (population niche breadth and individual trophic specialisation) for 15 native fish taxa belonging to different thermal guilds from 35 subarctic lakes along a marked climate-productivity gradient corresponding to future climate change predictions. We revealed significant and contrasting responses from two generalist species that are abundant and widely distributed in the region. The cold-water adapted European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) reduced individual specialisation in warmer and more productive lakes. Conversely, the cool-water adapted Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) showed increased levels of individual specialism along climate-productivity gradient. Although whitefish and perch differed in the way they consumed prey along the climate-productivity gradient, they both switched from consumption of zooplankton in cooler, less productive lakes, to macrozoobenthos in warmer, more productive lakes. Species with specialist benthic or pelagic feeding did not show significant changes in trophic ecology along the gradient. We conclude that generalist consumers, such as warmer adapted perch, have clear advantages over colder and clear-water specialised species or morphs through their capacity to undergo reciprocal benthic-pelagic switches in feeding associated with environmental change. The capacity to show trophic flexibility in warmer and more productive lakes is likely a key trait for species dominance in future communities of high latitudes under climate change.
Subject: Environmental change
Multichannel feeding
Stomach content analysis
Thermal guild
Subarctic lakes
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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