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The contribution of young-of-year fishes to aquatic food web dynamics in an arid-land river system (Rio Grande, New Mexico)

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20991

The contribution of young-of-year fishes to aquatic food web dynamics in an arid-land river system (Rio Grande, New Mexico)

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dc.contributor.author Krabbenhoft, Corey
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-27T21:24:15Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-27T21:24:15Z
dc.date.issued 2012-08-27
dc.date.submitted July 2012
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/20991
dc.description.abstract 1. Larval fishes have a rich history in ichthyological research. However, relatively little attention has been given to the role of young-of-year (YOY) fishes in ecosystem processes. Despite difficulties of sampling and identifying these small fishes, YOY may serve an important role in the dynamics of some aquatic communities. The specific role of YOY fishes in aquatic, desert food webs remains largely uncharacterized. 2. We hypothesize that YOY fishes may control abundance and community composition of lower trophic levels (i.e., aquatic invertebrates) because they are numerically dominant predators during the growing season. The goal of this study is to determine the role of YOY fishes in aquatic food webs and the impact they have on trophic dynamics of dryland river food webs using the Rio Grande as an example. 3. A mesocosm experiment was designed to assess the effect of YOY fish predators on meio- and micro- faunal invertebrate prey density and diversity. We manipulated presence and absence of YOY fishes and leaf litter, and compared invertebrate diversity and abundance across an array of 24 stock tanks. 4. Data showed that YOY fishes significantly influence the composition of invertebrate communities, as does allochthonous carbon. Community composition varied among treatments both because fishes preferred some taxa over others and because of instances of avoidance by invertebrates. Stable isotope analyses (carbon and nitrogen) suggest important indirect effects on the behavior of invertebrates in fish-treated mesocosms. 5. Results suggest that YOY fishes play an important role in aquatic food web dynamics and that community composition of aquatic invertebrates is, in part, subject to direct and indirect changes induced by the presence of YOY fishes. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Science Foundation, UNM Biology Graduate Resource Allocations Committee, UNM Biology Department Clifford Crawford Scholarship en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Food web en_US
dc.subject Stable isotopes en_US
dc.subject Rio Grande en_US
dc.subject Young-of-year en_US
dc.subject Invertebrate en_US
dc.subject Fish en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Food chains (Ecology)--Rio Grande.
dc.subject.lcsh Fishes--Ecology--Rio Grande.
dc.subject.lcsh Fishes--Rio Grande--Food.
dc.title The contribution of young-of-year fishes to aquatic food web dynamics in an arid-land river system (Rio Grande, New Mexico) en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Biology en_US
dc.description.level Masters en_US
dc.description.department University of New Mexico. Biology Dept. en_US
dc.description.advisor Turner, Thomas
dc.description.committee-member Dahm, Clifford
dc.description.committee-member Wolf, Blair


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