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Foraging success of juvenile pike Esox lucius depends on visual conditions and prey pigmentation

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Tel.: +46 462228366; email: mikael.jonsson@limnol.lu.se

Abstract

Young-of-the-year pike Esox lucius foraging on copepods experienced different foraging success depending on prey pigmentation in water visually degraded by brown colouration or algae. Both attack rate and prey consumption rate were higher for E. lucius foraging on transparent prey in brown water, whereas the opposite was true in algal turbid water. Pigments in copepod prey may have a cryptic function in brown water instead of a photo-protective function even if prey-size selectivity was stronger than selection based on pigmentation in juvenile E. lucius.

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