OJE> Vol.4 No.9, June 2014

Competitive Consumption of the Lake Kinneret (Israel) Plankton by Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and Sarotherodon galilaeus

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Moshe Gophen

ABSTRACT

An outdoor tank experiment was carried out for the assessing of the impacts of Sarotherodon galilaeus (Galilee Saint Peter’s Fish; Cichlidae) (SG) and Hypophthalmichthys molitriox (Silver Carp; Cyprinidae) (SC) on Lake Kinneret (Israel) plankton. In order to evaluate the interaction effect, the experiments were of replicated 2 × 2 factorial design: TG × SC. A lot of interaction effects were indicated showing that the effects of the two fishes were not independent and potentially competitors. SG suppressed most crustaceans and rotifers while increasing gross and net primary production and chlorophyll concentration. SC had less intense effects on zooplankton than SG. Although SC suppressed most crustaceans and rotifers, it had less interaction effects than SG. SC had no statistically significant effects on phytoplankton production or chlorophyll concentration. It is suggested that these experiments indicate that although the plankton community impacts of SG and SC do differ, both fishes utilize similar food resources in Lake Kinneret. Fingerlings of SG and SC are planted in Lake Kinneret annually aimed at the improvement of fishermen’s income and prevention of water quality deterioration. SC is known as efficient consumer of Microcystis. It is therefore recommended to limit SC introduction to periods when Microcystis is abundant.

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Gophen, M. (2014) Competitive Consumption of the Lake Kinneret (Israel) Plankton by Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and Sarotherodon galilaeus. Open Journal of Ecology, 4, 532-542. doi: 10.4236/oje.2014.49043.

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