Production and predation rates in a cannibalistic Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus L.) population


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Anders G. Finstad, Department of Natural History, Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway; e-mail:


Abstract – Production of cannibalistic Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus (L.)) and their prey conspecifics were estimated in an allopatric population, situated in an alpine ultraoligotrophic lake in central Norway. Estimates of population abundance were obtained by mark recapture and successive removal experiments. Assuming stable age distribution, we estimated mean yearly biomass (±95% CL) of char in sampled size groups vulnerable to predation (60 to 150 mm) to 7.93 (5.11–14.30) kg · ha−1. Similarly, mean yearly biomass (±95% CL) of cannibalistic char (> 250 mm) was estimated to 0.62 (0.50–1.06) kg · ha−1. Annual production (±95% CL) of char in length groups 60 to 150 mm was estimated to be 4.31 (2.74–8.03) kg · ha−1 · year−1, and production (±95% CL) of cannibalistic char to 0.19 (0.15–0.33) kg · ha−1 · year−1. Depending on the food conversion factor (set to vary from 0.1 to 0.4), the cannibalistic char removed from 10% to 40% of the production of char in sampled size-classes vulnerable to predation yearly. The overall ecological efficiency in energy transfer between the prey and predator population was 4.4%.