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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Crucian Carp (Carassius auratus) on Water Quality in Aquatic Ecosystems: An Experimental Mesocosm Study

Department of Ecology and Institute of Hydrobiology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
College of Resources and Environment, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China
Department of Natural Resources, Cornell Biological Field Station, Cornell University, New York, NY 13030, USA
Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan
Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, DK-8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
Sino-Danish Centre for Education and Research (SDC), Beijing 100070, China
Limnology Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences and Centre for Ecosystem Research and Implementation, Middle East Technical University, Ankara 06800, Turkey
State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Water 2020, 12(5), 1444;
Received: 13 February 2020 / Revised: 12 May 2020 / Accepted: 12 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
The presence of omnivorous fish is known to affect aquatic ecosystems, including water quality. The effect, however, depends on the species in question, and our knowledge is limited on the effect of omnivorous crucian carp (Carassius auratus), a common and often the most numerous fish species in eutrophic shallow lakes in China. We conducted a 70-day outdoor experiment in mesocosms with and without crucian carp to examine whether this species adversely affects water quality by increasing the levels of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP), thereby stimulating the biomass of phytoplankton and increasing water turbidity. Compared with carp-free controls, the presence of crucian carp resulted in higher TN and TP in the water column, greater phytoplankton biomass and lower periphyton biomass, measured as chlorophyll a. Total suspended solids (TSS) also increased in the presence of fish. We conclude that crucian carp can increase TN and TP, enhance phytoplankton biomass, and increase water turbidity, thereby contributing significantly to the deterioration of the water quality. In addition to controlling external nutrient loading, the removal of crucian carp may help to improve water quality in warm shallow eutrophic lakes. View Full-Text
Keywords: crucian carp; nutrient; phytoplankton; periphyton; sediment; water quality crucian carp; nutrient; phytoplankton; periphyton; sediment; water quality
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Huang, Y.; Mei, X.; Rudstam, L.G.; Taylor, W.D.; Urabe, J.; Jeppesen, E.; Liu, Z.; Zhang, X. Effects of Crucian Carp (Carassius auratus) on Water Quality in Aquatic Ecosystems: An Experimental Mesocosm Study. Water 2020, 12, 1444.

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