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Monday, January 28 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
(SYMPOSIA-04) Toward Examining Climate Effects on Yellow Perch Recruitment: How Do Lake Erie Larval Yellow Perch Diets Vary Within a Year?

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AUTHORS: Luke A. Bobay, L. Zoe Almeida, Elizabeth A. Marschall, Stuart A. Ludsin – The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: A full understanding of how climate change affects the recruitment process of fish is lacking for most populations. The possibility exists that altered temperature and precipitation patterns could interact with other factors (e.g., photoperiod) to reduce the availability of zooplankton prey to pre-recruited individuals. If preferred prey sizes or taxa are unavailable during critical periods of development (e.g., larval stage), foraging success, growth, and survival might decline. As a first step toward understanding how climate variation influences larval yellow perch (Perca flavescens) success in Lake Erie, we processed the diets of larvae captured during spring 2017 from several nearshore areas of the western basin. While we expected average zooplankton prey size in the diet to increase with yellow perch size, we were uncertain as to how availability of prey of different sizes and taxa would affect which prey types are consumed. We also did not know if larval yellow perch require a specific size or type of prey during early life, when their ability to catch large, fast prey is limited. Preliminary analyses indicate that the biomass of yellow perch diets varied both through time and between sites (Date: ?<sup>2</sup><sub>4,428</sub>= 114.3, p < 0.001, Site: ?<sup>2</sup><sub>3,428</sub>= 22.7, p < 0.001), with no obvious effect of fish size (Length: ?<sup>2</sup><sub>1,428</sub>= 0.04, p = 0.84). Interestingly, we found that some small prey items (e.g., small Cyclopoida) were primarily consumed by small yellow perch larvae (5 – 9 mm), whereas other small taxa (e.g., Bosmina) were primarily consumed by larger larvae (13 – 18 mm). Future analyses should reveal if these differences in consumption between larvae of different size are due to prey availability or a preference for specific taxonomic groups. Ultimately, these results will direct our impending inter-annual examination of larval yellow perch diets in relation to environmental conditions.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm