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Bluegill (Lepomis macrochira) growth varies inconsistently with plant density. In laboratory and field experiments, we explored mechanisms underlying bluegill growth as a function of plant and invertebrate density. In the laboratory, bluegills captured more chironomids (Chironomus riparius) than damselflies (Enallagma spp. and Ischnura spp.), but energy intake per time spent searching did not differ between damselfly and chironomid treatments. From laboratory data, we described prey encounter rates as functions of plant and invertebrate density. In Clark Lake, Ohio, we created 0.05-ha mesocosms of inshore vegetation to generate macrophyte densities of 125, 270, and 385 stems/m2 of Potamogeton and Ceratophyllum and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Oecologia
Behavior of largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, and northern pike, Esox lucius, foraging on fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas, or bluegills, Lepomis macrochirus, was quantified in pools with 50% cover (half the pool had artificial stems at a density of 1000 stems m−2). Both predators spent most of their time in the vegetation. Largemouth bass searched for bluegills and ambushed minnows, whereas the relatively immobile northern pike ambushed all prey. Minnows were closer to predators and were captured more frequently than bluegills. Even when minnows dispersed, they moved continually and eventually wandered within striking distance of a predator. Bluegills dispersed in the cover with predators. Bass captured...