thumbnail

Life in the fast lane: fish and foodweb structure in the main channel of large rivers

Journal of the North American Benthological Society

By:
, , ,

Links

  • The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
  • Download citation as: RIS

Abstract

We studied the main channel of the lower Illinois River and of the Mississippi River just upstream and downstream of its confluence with the Illinois River to describe the abundance, composition, and/or seasonal appearance of components of the main-channel community. Abundance of fishes in the main channel was high, especially adults. Most adult fishes were present in the main channel for either 3 or 4 seasons/y, indicating that fishes regularly reside in the main channel. We documented abundant zooplankton and benthic invertebrates in the main channel, and the presence of these food types in the diets of channel catfish and freshwater drum. All trophic levels were well represented in the main channel, indicating that the main channel supports a unique food web. The main channel also serves as an important energetic link with other riverine habitats (e.g., floodplains, secondary channels, backwater lakes) because of the mobility of resident fishes and because of the varied energy sources supplying this food web. It may be more realistic to view energy flow in large-river systems as a combination of 3 existing concepts, the river continuum concept (downstream transport), the flood pulse concept (lateral transport to the floodplain), and the riverine productivity model (autochthonous production). We urge additional research to quantify the links between the main channel and other habitat types in large rivers because of the apparent importance of main-channel processes in the overall structure and function of large-river ecosystems.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Life in the fast lane: fish and foodweb structure in the main channel of large rivers
Series title:
Journal of the North American Benthological Society
Volume
20
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Publisher:
Illinois Natural History Survey
Publisher location:
Zion, IL
Contributing office(s):
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description:
pp. 255-265
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of the North American Benthological Society
First page:
255
Last page:
265
Number of Pages:
11