TitleTrophic structure of nine Czech reservoirs regularly stocked with piscivorous fish
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsSeda, J, Hejzlar, J, Kubecka, J

For nearly 20 years, most Czech reservoirs supplying drinking water have been under statutory protection which permitted reservoir managers to manipulate fish stocks in order to maintain a sustainable water quality. The most common biomanipulative measure adopted was stocking with piscivorous fish (mostly 5 cm fry) using an annual stocking level of approx. 25 000 fish per reservoir. Nine reservoirs were studied for signs of top-down food web effects, as predicted by the trophic cascade hypothesis based on levels of total phosphorus (TP), chlorophyll a (Chl a), zooplankton biomass (ZB) and zooplankton community structure. In all nine reservoirs, only small Daphnia species were recorded, such as D. galeata and D. cucullata. The proportion of large-bodied daphnids retained on a 0.71 mm sieve was less than 10% of the total crustacean biomass in all reservoirs. The relationship of Chl a level - TP, and of ZB - Chl a, was positive under enhanced piscivory and did not differ statistically from the relationships in other reservoirs with natural fish stocks. This implies that bottom-up forces remained stronger than top-down ones in the studied reservoirs, despite the stocking of piscivorous fish. The failure of this attempt at biomanipulation may be due to an insufficient stocking rate of predatory fish and/or inadequate data on the resident planktivorous fish levels.