Does diet overlap among larval and 0+ fish species decrease with ontogenetic development?          [RESEARCH ARTICLE]

  • Elżbieta Bogacka-Kapusta
  • Andrzej Kapusta
Keywords: diet overlap, juvenile fish, Rutilus rutilus, Perca fluviatilis, Alburnus alburnus, Leucaspius delineatus


The aim of the study was to determine the degree of overlap in the feeding niches of early developmental stages of roach, Rutilus rutilus (L.), perch, Perca fluviatilis L., bleak, Alburnus alburnus (L.) and sunbleak, Leucaspius delineatus (Heckel). The hypotheses were that (i) larvae of different fish species of similar body sizes feed on similar food, and that (ii) smaller fish compete with larger ones for similar prey. The results of the analysis was to answer the question of whether the diet overlap of juvenile fish stages decreases with ontogenetic development. The study was conducted for two years (2001-2002) in two shallow, polymictic, eutrophic lakes. The diets of early developmental stages of fish species of similar body sizes differed. The few instances of diet overlap resulted from the abundance of food resources in the environment. However, fish of smaller body sizes exploited the same food resources as did individuals of the same species that belonged to different cohorts.


E. Bogacka-Kapusta [+], A. Kapusta
Department of Ichthyology
Inland Fisheries Institute in Olsztyn, Poland
ul. Oczapowskiego 10, 10-718 Olsztyn
Tel. +48 895241039, e-mail: