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Effects of Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) Predation on Survival and Habitat Use of Plains Killifish (Fundulus zebrinus)
Samuel C. Lohr and Kurt D. Fausch
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 41, No. 2 (Jun., 1996), pp. 155-160
Published by: Southwestern Association of Naturalists
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30055100
Page Count: 6
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Predation by green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) on plains killifish (Fundulus zebrinus) may explain why these species rarely co-occur in pools of intermittent Purgatoire River tributaries in southeastern Colorado. Large green sunfish ate 16% of plains killifish during a 24-h experiment in tanks which provided shallow and deep water, with and without simulated vegetation cover, similar to natural pools. Killifish use of deep water or cover during daylight did not differ significantly in tanks with green sunfish versus those without. No killifish were found in stomachs of test sunfish or those captured in tributary pools during daytime, but this was probably due to crepuscular feeding combined with high gastric evacuation rates. Plains killifish co-occurred with green sunfish in significantly fewer tributary pools than expected by chance in both 1987 to 1988 and 1993 to 1994. Together, our experimental and field data support the hypothesis that green sunfish can reduce or eliminate plains killifish in isolated pools.
The Southwestern Naturalist © 1996 Southwestern Association of Naturalists