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Piotr Traczuk and Andrzej Kapusta

Abstract

Increases in the population abundance of the piscivorous great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) has led to conflicts with fisheries. Cormorants are blamed for decreased fish catches in many lakes in Poland. The aim of this paper is to describe to role of pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) in the diet of cormorants nesting in a colony on the island in Lake Warnołty. Since the breeding colony is located in the vicinity of Lake OEniardwy, the largest lake in Poland, the cormorants use the resources in this lake. In 2009-2016, 18,432 regurgitated fish were collected, of which 593 were pikeperch. The share of pikeperch among fish collected in 2009-2012 did not exceed 2%, but from 2013 this increased substantially to maximum of 38.2% in 2015. The smallest pikeperch had a standard length of 8.4 cm, and the largest 42.5 cm. Pikeperch mean length differed by year, and the length distribution was close to normal. The sizes of the regurgitated pikeperch indicate that cormorants prey almost exclusively on juvenile specimens. The results of the present study indicate that cormorant predation has a significant impact on pikeperch populations in lakes in the vicinity of the colony, and the great cormorants are possibly a significant factor in the effectiveness of pikeperch management. When planning for the management of fish populations in lakes subjected to cormorant predation pressure, it should be borne in mind that predation by this piscivorous bird species impacts the abundance and size-age structure of fish populations.

Open access

Dariusz Ulikowski, Łucjan Chybowski and Piotr Traczuk

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the impact of filamentous algae on the growth and survival of juvenile narrow-clawed crayfish, Astacus leptodactylus (Esch.), in rearing basins. Three stocking variants were used: A - basins with a layer of filamentous algae without imitation mineral substrate; B - basins with a layer of filamentous algae with imitation mineral substrate; C - basins without filamentous algae but with mineral substrate. The crayfish were reared from June 12 to October 10 under natural thermal conditions and fed a commercial feed. The results indicated that the presence of the filamentous algae did not have a statistically significant impact on the growth of the juvenile crayfish (P > 0.05). The presence of the filamentous algae had a strong negative impact on juvenile crayfish survival and stock biomass (P < 0.05). The layer of gravel and small stones that imitated the mineral substrate of natural aquatic basins somewhat neutralized the disadvantageous impact the filamentous algae had on the crayfish.

Open access

Dariusz Ulikowski, Iwona Piotrowska, Łucjan Chybowski, Tadeusz Krzywosz and Piotr Traczuk

Abstract

Interactions were studied among juvenile narrow-claw crayfish, Astacus leptodactylus (Eschscholtz), and common water frog, Rana esculenta (L.), tadpoles and common blue damselfly, Enallagma cyathigerum (Charpentier), larvae during rearing under controlled conditions. Interactions among the species studied had a positive impact on the survival of the crayfish, but the differences were not statistically significant (P ≥ 0.5). The juvenile crayfish attacked and consumed the frog tadpoles and damselflies, but the juvenile crayfish very rarely fell prey to them. Only in the initial stage of life and during molting did larval damselflies prey upon juvenile crayfish. After 30 days of the experiment the interaction between crayfish-tadpoles and crayfish-larval damselflies was not noted to have had a statistically significant (P ≥ 0.05) impact on crayfish growth. Juvenile crayfish aggression toward tadpoles and larval damselflies was often offset by the loss of even both chelipeds. In the crayfish-larval damselfly interaction the loss of both chelipeds was three-fold more common than it was in the crayfish-tadpole interaction; however, these differences were not statistically significant (P ≥ 0.5). The effect of intraspecific interaction (crayfish-crayfish) was more a threat in terms of mortality from cannibalism than were interspecific interactions (crayfish-tadpole and crayfish-larval damselfly).