Nathaniel J. Copeland

The Effects of Age-0 Gizzard Shad Abundance on Piscivore Abundance and Condition in Southern Reservoirs

The majority of piscivores found in southern U.S. reservoirs consume primarily age-0 (≤100mm) gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum). However, gizzard shad grow rapidly, so even systems with high gizzard shad biomass could be food-limited if most gizzard shad are too large to be eaten. Previous studies comparing gizzard shad abundance and piscivore prey demand have only considered one or a few piscivores, but many southern reservoirs have seven or more piscivores in the community. This suggests prey limitation may be more common than these studies suggest. We used 29 years of data from the...