Effects of the non-indigenous cladoceran Cercopagis pengoi on the lower food web of Lake Ontario
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1. In North America, the invasive predatory cladoceran Cercopagis pengoi was first detected in Lake Ontario. We explored the impact of Cercopagis on the lower food web of Lake Ontario through assessments of historical and seasonal abundance of the crustacean zooplankton, by conducting feeding experiments on the dominant prey of the invader, and by estimating its food requirements. 2. Between 1999 and 2001, a decrease in the abundance of dominant members of the Lake Ontario zooplankton community (Daphnia retrocurva, Bosmina longirostris and Diacyclops thomasi) coincided with an increase in the abundance of Cercopagis. Daphnia retrocurva populations declined despite high fecundity in all 3 years, indicating that food limitation was not responsible. Chlorophyll a concentration generally increased, concomitant with a decline in the herbivorous cladoceran zooplankton in the lake. 3. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that Cercopagis fed on small-bodied species including D. retrocurva and B. longirostris. 4. Consumption demand of mid-summer populations of Cercopagis, estimated from a bioenergetic model of the confamilial Bythotrephes, was sufficient to reduce crustacean abundance, although the degree of expected suppression varied seasonally and interannually. 5. Predatory effects exerted by Cercopagis on the Lake Ontario zooplankton, while initially very pronounced, have decreased steadily as the species became established in the lake.
Laxson, C. L.; Mcphedran, K. N.; Makarewicz, J. C.; Telesh, I. V.; and MacIsaac, Hugh J., "Effects of the non-indigenous cladoceran Cercopagis pengoi on the lower food web of Lake Ontario" (2003). Freshwater Biology, 48, 12, 2094-2106.