Impact of fish herbivory on submerged vegetation in the freshwater ecosystems

Ms Ivana Vejříková1, Dr. Lukáš Vejřík1

1Biology Centre Of The Czech Academy Of Sciences, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic


Herbivory significantly influences species composition and biomass of macrophytes in the aquatic ecosystems. It plays a key role along with nutrient level (mainly Nitrogen) in the succession and revitalisation of freshwater ecosystems. Herbivory of fish is a diet strategy that is dependent on temperature. Fish depend on the production of enzymes by symbiotic microorganisms living in their digestive tracts that are able to grow at ca. T>16°C. Thus climate change has marked impact on the fish herbivory. For instance, season of utilizing macropytes by omnivorous fish can prolong, and so the vegetation cover can change significantly. Secondly, distribution of herbivorous fish can move polewards and so it can significantly affect species of macrophytes that evolved in colder water with absence of herbivores are the most vulnerable.


Ivana works at the Institute of Hydrobiology, Czech Academy of Sciences, and  is PhD student at University of South Bohemia. She focuses on ecology of fish and macrophytes in lakes and reservoirs. Her published studies were realized mainly by modern methods such as unique field underwater cage experiment, use of scuba diving, stable isotopes analyses and modelling. She was on a maternity leave for last two years, but still actively working on the studies.

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