Effects of woody debris and the supply of terrestrial invertebrates on the diet and growth of brown trout (Salmo trutta) in a boreal stream
2014 (English)In: Freshwater Biology, ISSN 0046-5070, E-ISSN 1365-2427Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
- Changes to the riparian vegetation of forest streams during timber harvesting may have considerable impacts on stream biota, but few studies have attempted to separate the effects of individual factors that are altered during clear-felling operations.
- We studied the effects of large wood and terrestrial invertebrate supply, two factors affected by forest harvesting, on the growth and diet of two size classes of brown trout (Salmo trutta) during a two-month (June–August) field enclosure experiment. Twelve 20-m-long enclosed stream reaches were used in a 2 × 2 factorial design, with large wood either absent or added to mimic pre-modern forestry conditions, and terrestrial invertebrate inputs either reduced or maintained at ambient levels.
- The addition of large wood had a positive effect on the growth of large trout but no effect on small trout, whereas terrestrial invertebrate input had no effect on the growth of either size class. Growth rates were highest in the treatment with ambient terrestrial invertebrate inputs and added wood, were lowest in the treatment with reduced terrestrial invertebrate inputs and no added wood and were intermediate in the other two treatments.
- Dietary analyses showed no difference in treatments with and without added wood, perhaps because instream wood influences growth by producing profitable stream positions for trout, rather than by acting as a source of prey. Terrestrial invertebrate inputs affected the diet, as trout in enclosures with reduced inputs had a lower proportion of terrestrial invertebrate biomass in the diet than trout in enclosures with ambient terrestrial inputs.
- Our results suggest that leaving woody debris in streams when harvesting forests may enhance trout growth and that this is probably due to the physical changes in depth and current velocity caused by the wood rather than to changes in dietary prey composition.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
forest, riparian zone, size class, terrestrial invertebrates, woody debris
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34007DOI: 10.1111/fwb.12448ISI: 000344778800005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-34007DiVA: diva2:752508