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Ecosystem significance of crayfishes and stonerollers



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J N Am Benthol Soc 2003 22 3 423 441 q 2003 by The North American Benthological Society Ecosystem significance of crayfishes and stonerollers in a prairie stream functional differences between co occurring omnivores MICHELLE A EVANS WHITE1 AND WALTER K DODDS Division of Biology Kansas State University Manhattan Kansas 66506 USA MATT R WHILES Department of Zoology Southern Illinois University Carbondale Illinois 62901 6501 USA Abstract The ecosystem significance of crayfishes Orconectes nais Faxon and O neglectus Faxon and central stoneroller minnows Campostoma anomalum Rafinesque was examined in a tallgrass prairie stream by estimating the trophic basis of production and consumption for each species Annual ash free dry mass production and production to biomass ratios of C anomalum 260 mg m22 y21 1 3 were lower than that of O nais 719 mg m22 y21 2 4 and O neglectus 508 mg m22 y21 2 1 Gut content analysis revealed no significant differences in the percentages of the various food items ingested by O nais and O neglectus indicating they were functionally similar with respect to the types of organic matter processed in this system We found a significant difference among seasons in the of invertebrates in C anomalum guts p 5 0 0001 and the of algae in Orconectes spp guts p 5 0 005 indicating the importance of measuring resource use throughout the growing season Leaves contributed most to Orconectes spp annual production 45 followed by animal matter 30 algae 19 and amorphous detritus 6 Algae contributed most to C anomalum production 47 followed by amorphous detritus 30 animal matter 21 and leaves 2 Orconectes spp consumed more leaf litter filamentous green algae and macroinvertebrates than C anomalum whereas C anomalum consumed more diatoms Crayfish and central stonerollers are both omnivores that function as important consumers and processors of algae and detritus in this tallgrass prairie stream but each focuses on slightly different types of similar resources Key words



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