Weber MJ, Brown ML, Willis DW. Spatial variability of common carp populations in relation to lake morphology and physicochemical parameters in the upper Midwest United States.
Ecology of Freshwater Fish 2010: 19: 555–565. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Abstract – Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a widespread invasive species that is tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions. Despite the circumpolar distribution of the species, limited information is available describing factors related to spatial variation in population characteristics. Eighty-four lakes and impoundments in the upper Midwest United States were sampled to investigate the relationships of common carp relative abundance with size structure, condition and growth rates. We also investigated abiotic factors (lake morphology, physical solids and water quality) that may broadly influence common carp populations. Common carp size structure and condition were inversely related to relative abundance. Common carp relative abundance increased and size structure shifted to smaller individuals with increased lake depth, whereas lake surface area, watershed:surface area ratio and physical solids were also important in explaining common carp abundance and size structure. Common carp condition was best explained by water quality parameters and increased with metrics of lake productivity. We conclude that knowledge of factors associated with variation in common carp populations among lakes provides insights into the autecology and broad provisions for management of this generalist invasive species.