Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Competitive interactions between age-0 bighead carp and paddlefish

January 1, 2003

The effects of bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis on native planktivores in the USA is unknown. The objectives of this study were to experimentally test for competitive interactions between age-0 bighead carp and age-0 paddlefish Polyodon spathula. Differences among water chemistry variables, invertebrate densities, and relative growth of fish were assessed in mesocosms. Water chemistry variables were similar among treatments throughout the experiment and only exhibited a temporal effect. Zooplankton density declined in mesocosms after fish were introduced. In general, zooplankton densities did not differ among treatments but did differ from the control. The relative growth of paddlefish was negative in the paddlefish and paddlefish–bighead carp treatments. The relative growth of bighead carp was negative in the bighead carp treatment but positive in the paddlefish–bighead carp treatment. Age-0 paddlefish exhibited the greatest decrease in relative growth in mesocosms with bighead carp. Bighead carp exhibited the greatest increase in relative growth in mesocosms with paddlefish. These data suggest that bighead carp have the potential to negatively affect the growth of paddlefish when food resources are limited.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2003
Title Competitive interactions between age-0 bighead carp and paddlefish
DOI 10.1577/T02-071
Authors S.J. Schrank, C.S. Guy, J.F. Fairchild
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Index ID 70025519
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center