• bioenergetics;
  • Clupeidae;
  • Dorosoma cepedianum;
  • predator–prey balance;
  • prey availability;
  • reservoir


Gizzard shad, Dorosoma cepedianum (Lesueur), often compose a majority of the prey biomass in southern US reservoirs. Previous studies suggest prey limitation frequently occurs in these systems, suggesting that fisheries managers need tools to evaluate the production potential of the populations they manage. Bioenergetics modelling was used to quantify the abundance of age-0 gizzard shad necessary to sustain multiple piscivore species with diverse growth rates, population sizes, mortality rates and diets. Gizzard shad biomass at the 50th percentile of published values was insufficient to support seven piscivore species in 69% of the simulations, suggesting that above-average prey biomass is required to support multiple piscivore populations at high abundance and growth rates. To help guide management, estimates of the gizzard shad biomass needed to sustain piscivore communities are provided for management situations in which coarse-scale (low, medium or high) growth, population size and percent of shad in diet data are available.