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Trophic ecology

March 4, 2021

The trophic ecology of lake charr Salvelinus namaycush morphotypes from small and large lakes within their native and introduced ranges is reviewed over the past 50 years. The lake charr is an apex predator in most habitats it occupies, where it plays a significant role in defining food webs. While often considered piscivores, lake charr feed on a range of aquatic prey throughout their life history, including zooplankton, benthic invertebrates, and fish, as well as terrestrial insects, mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Lake charr diets that vary within morphotypes among lakes and among sympatric morphotypes reflect differences in habitat use, prey availability, and individual preferences. Temporal variability in diet can result from seasonal prey pulses, thermal barriers, and long-term prey dynamics. Lake charr adapt quickly to consume invasive prey fishes, and often decimate native prey fishes and other piscivores in lakes into which they are introduced. Salient research topics in lake charr trophic ecology include: (1) how best to quantify spatial and temporal trophic niche space; and, (2) how changing environmental conditions, such as invasive species and lake warming, will influence lake charr feeding and broader lake food-web dynamics.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title Trophic ecology
DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-62259-6_9
Authors Mark Vinson, Louise Chavarie, Caroline Lynn Rosinski, Heidi K. Swanson
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70217777
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center

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