Their findings appear in a current online issue of the journal Freshwater Biology where they describe experiments that examined some effects of fisheries management practices now in use in California mountain lakes where fish do not naturally occur.
The research has value because the vast majority of mountain lakes in the western United States have been stocked with trout for several decades. Studies following lake restoration to fishless conditions will help scientists and wildlife managers understand the impact of past actions and future decisions.
Since 2000, the California Department of Fish and Game has reduced the number of wilderness lakes it stocks by about half because non-native fish feed on declining species like the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog. Federal and state agencies have also begun removing introduced trout in some lakes because fish can survive for years and continue feeding on sensitive species, after stocking has ceased.
Until now, scientists seldom studied the response of aquatic insect populations to the removal of non-native trout.
"These highly-mobile predators don't naturally occur in small alpine lakes so they have significant top-down effects on ecosystems," said Karen Pope, a Forest Service scientist at the Pacific Southwest Research Station and one of the study's authors. "They prey upon aquatic insects that are also food for other insects, amphibians, birds and bats."
In 2003, Pope and her colleagues began testing the effects introduced fish had on lake ecosystems in 16 lakes in Northern California's Trinity Alps Wilderness.
The National Science Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Fish and Game, and University of California funded the study, which matched current California fisheries management practices by including lakes with continued stocking of trout, suspension of stocking and removal of all fish. It also included fish-free lakes as reference sites for the study.
The researchers used floating nets on each lake's surface to quantify aquatic insect populations. They also used gill nets to sample trout density at lakes where there was continued stocking or suspension of stocking.
Their results showed the presence of introduced trout was the most important factor affecting the emergence of insects from the lakes.
Aquatic insect populations quickly increased when trout were removed from lakes. However, the scientists found suspension of stocking was not effective for restoring insect abundance in most lakes. This was not surprising because suspension of stocking alone had little effect on trout density, according to the researchers.
Roland Giller | EurekAlert!
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy