Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Spatial and Temporal Variation of the Gill Rakers of Gizzard Shad and Silver Carp in Three Midwestern Rivers
Walleser, L.R., Sandheinrich, M.B., Howard, D.R., Gaikowski, M.P. and Amberg, J.J., 2014, Spatial and Temporal Variation of the Gill Rakers of Gizzard Shad and Silver Carp in Three Midwestern Rivers. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, v 34, i 5, DOI 10.1080/02755947.2014.920740
Improved management of invasive Silver Carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix in the upper Mississippi River basin may be possible by better understanding the feeding abilities of this population. Food collection for filter-feeding fishes, such as Silver Carp, is influenced by the species-specific structure of their gill rakers. To investigate structural variation in gill rakers of Silver Carp, the morphology of gill rakers was quantified and compared with that of a native filter-feeding fish species which may compete with Silver Carp for food resources, Gizzard Shad Dorosoma cepedianum. Intra- and interspecies variation of gill rakers was examined in both species collected from three locations among four months. Interspecies analysis indicated the size of pores in gill rakers of Silver Carp were much larger than the interraker spacings of Gizzard Shad (95% CI ranged from 80.69 to 185.75 μm versus 16.72 to 47.36 μm, respectively). Intraspecies variation of gill rakers from Silver Carp was related to the overall size of fish and occurred only among sites where dissimilar sizes of fish were collected. This suggested the size of particles filtered by Silver Carp may be dependent upon ontogenic development rather than phenotypic plasticity in response to spatial or temporal factors. Intraspecies variation of gill rakers from Gizzard Shad occurred among site and monthly sampling data; however, variation was only attributable to overall size of fish for monthly sampling data. This suggested ontogeny may influence the filter-feeding ability of this species within a habitat. However, variation noted among sites, which was not attributable to size of fish, may indicate gill rakers are phenotypically plastic among Gizzard Shad populations of various river systems of the upper Mississippi River basin.