Consequences of cannibalism and competition for food in a smallmouth bass population

An individual-based modeling study

Q. Dong, D. L. DeAngelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We used an individual-based modeling approach to study the consequences of cannibalism and competition for food in a freshwater fish population. We simulated the daily foraging, growth, and survival of the age-0 fish and older juvenile individuals of a sample population to reconstruct patterns of density dependence in the age-0 fish during the growth season. Cannibalism occurs as a part of the foraging process. For age-0 fish, older juvenile fish are both potential cannibals and competitors of food. We found that competition and cannibalism produced intraclass and interclass density dependence. Our modeling results suggested the following. (1) With low density of juvenile fish and weak interclass interactions, the age-0 fish recruitment shows a Beverton-Holt type of density dependence. (2) With high density of juvenile fish and strong interclass interactions, the age-0 fish recruitment shows a Ricker type of density dependence, and overcompensation occurs. (3) Interclass competition of food is responsible for much of the overcompensation. (4) Cannibalism intensifies the changes in the recruitment that are brought about by competition. Cannibalism can (a) generally reduce the recruitment, (b) particularly reduce the maximum level of recruitment, (c) cause overcompensation to occur at lower densities, and (d) produce a stronger overcompensation. (5) Growth is also a function of density. Cannibalism generally improves average growth of cannibals. (6) Variation in the lengths of age-0 fish increases with density and with a decreased average growth. These results imply that cannibalism and competition for food could strongly affect recruitment dynamics. Our model also showed that the rate of cannibalism either could be fairly even through the whole season or could vary dramatically. The individual-based modeling approach can help ecologists understand the mechanistic connection between daily behavioral and physiological processes operating at the level of individual organisms and seasonal patterns of population structure and dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-191
Number of pages18
JournalTransactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume127
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

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Micropterus dolomieu
cannibalism
food
fish
modeling
density dependence
foraging
ecologists
freshwater fish
population structure
population dynamics
seasonal variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Consequences of cannibalism and competition for food in a smallmouth bass population : An individual-based modeling study. / Dong, Q.; DeAngelis, D. L.

In: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, Vol. 127, No. 2, 01.01.1998, p. 174-191.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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