Role of fish in structuring invertebrates on stromatolites in Cuatro Ciénegas, México

Eric C. Dinger, Dean A. Hendrickson, Barbara M. Winsborough, Jane C Marks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stromatolites, the dominant Precambrian life form, declined in the Phanerozoic to occur today in only a few sites. This decline has been attributed to evolution of metazoan grazers, but stromatolites in our study site, Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila, México, harbor diverse macroinvertebrates. Drawing on food chain theory, we hypothesized that fish predation on invertebrates controls invertebrate populations, allowing stromatolites to flourish in Cuatro Ciénegas. Our experiment used small mesh (1 mm) cages to exclude all but larval fishes, and larger (6.5 mm) cages to exclude all larger fishes (including the molluscivorous and omnivorous endemic polymorphic cichlid, Herichthys minckleyi), but allow access to all sizes of the abundant endemic pupfish, Cyprinodon bifasciatus. No effects of treatments on invertebrate densities were noted at 6 week, but significant effects were observed on specific taxonomic groups after 3 month. In absence of fishes, hydrobiidae snails and ceratopogonids increased 3- and 5-fold, respectively, and invertebrate assemblage composition varied among treatments. Algal biomass was not affected by treatments, but algal species composition appeared to change. Overall results suggest that fish assemblages structure invertebrate assemblages, and that fishes may also be factors in determining algal communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-420
Number of pages14
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume563
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Fingerprint

Fish
invertebrate
invertebrates
fish
cages
Cyprinodon
Hydrobiidae
algal community
cichlid
metazoan
Ports and harbors
Phanerozoic
Chemical analysis
food chain
macroinvertebrates
snail
macroinvertebrate
snails
Invertebrates
Precambrian

Keywords

  • Aquatic invertebrates
  • Cuatro Ciénegas
  • Fish predation
  • Food webs
  • Mexico
  • Modern stromatolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Role of fish in structuring invertebrates on stromatolites in Cuatro Ciénegas, México. / Dinger, Eric C.; Hendrickson, Dean A.; Winsborough, Barbara M.; Marks, Jane C.

In: Hydrobiologia, Vol. 563, No. 1, 06.2006, p. 407-420.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dinger, Eric C. ; Hendrickson, Dean A. ; Winsborough, Barbara M. ; Marks, Jane C. / Role of fish in structuring invertebrates on stromatolites in Cuatro Ciénegas, México. In: Hydrobiologia. 2006 ; Vol. 563, No. 1. pp. 407-420.
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