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Open AccessArticle

Short-Term Interactive Effects of Experimental Heat Waves and Turbidity Pulses on the Foraging Success of a Subtropical Invertivorous Fish

1
Departamento de Ecologia e Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Florianópolis 88040-970, SC, Brazil
2
Departamento de Ecología y Gestión Ambiental, Centro Universitario Regional del Este, Universidad de la República (UDELAR), Maldonado 20000, Uruguay
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Programa de Pós-graduação em Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos Continentais, Universidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM), Maringá 87020-900, PR, Brazil
4
Department of BioScience, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(10), 2109; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102109
Received: 1 August 2019 / Revised: 4 October 2019 / Accepted: 6 October 2019 / Published: 10 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trophic Interactions in Warm Freshwater Ecosystems)
Sudden increases in temperature and turbidity in aquatic ecosystems are expected for different regions in the future, as a result of the more frequent extreme climatic events that are predicted. The consequences of these abrupt changes in the outcomes of predator–prey interactions are unknown. Here, we tested the effects of a heat wave and a turbidity pulse on the foraging success of a subtropical cichlid fish (Gymnogeophagus terrapurpura) on amphipods (Hyalella curvispina). We carried out a short-term experiment combining treatments of turbidity (3 and 100 nephelometric turbidity units [NTU]) and water temperature (19.2, 22.2, 25.2 and 27.0 °C), considering potential differences given by fish length. Changes in water temperature did not promote significant changes in prey consumption. Higher turbidity, in contrast, decreased prey consumption. Also, we found that fish with different body lengths consumed a similar amount of prey under clear waters, but, in turbid waters, bigger individuals were more efficient than the smaller individuals. This finding is an empirical demonstration that the effect of increased turbidity on predation rate depends upon predator body size, and it suggests that bigger body sizes may help overcome turbidity-associated limitations in finding and capturing prey. Our short-term results suggest that, if turbidity pulses and heat waves become more frequent in the future, the outcome of fish–invertebrate interaction can be affected by local characteristics such as fish population size distribution. View Full-Text
Keywords: water transparency; warming; predation; predator–prey interaction water transparency; warming; predation; predator–prey interaction
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Figueiredo, B.R.S.; Calvo, C.; López-Rodríguez, A.; Mormul, R.P.; Teixeira-de Mello, F.; Benedito, E.; Meerhoff, M. Short-Term Interactive Effects of Experimental Heat Waves and Turbidity Pulses on the Foraging Success of a Subtropical Invertivorous Fish. Water 2019, 11, 2109.

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