Trophic ecology of largemouth bass and northern pike in allopatric and sympatric assemblages in northern boreal lakes

Canadian Journal of Zoology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and northern pike (Esox lucius) are top predators in the food chain in most aquatic environments that they occupy; however, limited information exists on species interactions in the northern reaches of largemouth bass distribution. We investigated the seasonal food habits of allopatric and sympatric assemblages of largemouth bass and northern pike in six interior lakes within Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota. Percentages of empty stomachs were variable for largemouth bass (38-54%) and northern pike (34.7-66.7%). Fishes (mainly yellow perch, Perca flavescens) comprised greater than 60% (mean percent mass, MPM) of the northern pike diet during all seasons in both allopatric and sympatric assemblages. Aquatic insects (primarily Odonata and Hemiptera) were important in the diets of largemouth bass in all communities (0.0-79.7 MPM). Although largemouth bass were observed in the diet of northern pike, largemouth bass apparently did not prey on northern pike. Seasonal differences were observed in the proportion of aquatic insects (P = 0.010) and fishes (P = 0.023) in the diets of northern pike and largemouth bass. Based on three food categories, jackknifed classifications correctly classified 77 and 92% of northern pike and largemouth bass values, respectively. Percent resource overlap values were biologically significant (greater than 60%) during at least one season in each sympatric assemblage, suggesting some diet overlap.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Trophic ecology of largemouth bass and northern pike in allopatric and sympatric assemblages in northern boreal lakes
Series title Canadian Journal of Zoology
DOI 10.1139/z00-126
Volume 78
Issue 10
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher NRC Research Press
Contributing office(s) Columbia Environmental Research Center
Description 8 p.
First page 1759
Last page 1766
Country United States
State Minnesota
Other Geospatial Voyageurs National Parks
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N