Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 227–231 | Cite as

Contestable shelters provoke aggression among 0+ perch, Perca fluviatilis

  • Victor N. Mikheev
  • Anna F. Pasternak
  • Gerhard Tischler
  • Josef Wanzenböck


We examined behavioural interactions and feeding within triads of young-of-the-year (YOY) Eurasian perch, Perca fluviatilis, in aquaria with and without a shelter. For the first time we showed that competition for shelters, but not for food, provokes aggressiveness and triggers establishment of social hierarchy among young perch. No aggressiveness occurred during feeding bouts, when food was a limited resource. We expect the observed interactions to occur in natural heterogeneous habitats providing limited number of refuges and high local density of fish. They may ultimately lead to previously anticipated interference competition among juvenile perch.


foraging interference competition juvenile fish 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barlow, G.W. 1993The puzzling paucity of feeding territories among freshwater fishesMar. Behav. Physiol.23155174Google Scholar
  2. Diel, S., Eklöv, P. 1995Effects of piscivore-mediated habitat use on resources, diet, and growth of perchEcology76712726Google Scholar
  3. Eklöv, P. 1992Group foraging versus solitary foraging efficiency in piscivorous predators: The perch, Perca fluviatilis, and pike, Esox lucius, patternsAnim. Behav.44313326Google Scholar
  4. Eklöv, P., Diehl, S. 1994Piscivore efficiency and refuging prey: The importance of predator search modeOecologia98344353Google Scholar
  5. Grant, J.W.A. 1997TerritorialityGodin, J.-G.J. eds. Behavioural Ecology of Teleost FishesUniversity PressOxford81103Google Scholar
  6. Melard, C., Kestemont, P., Grignard, J.C. 1996Intensive culture of juvenile and adult Eurasian perch (P. fluviatilis): Effect of major biotic and abiotic factors on growthJ. Appl. Ichthyol.12175180Google Scholar
  7. Metcalfe, N.B., Huntingford, F.A., Graham, W.D., Thorpe, J.E. 1989Early social status and the development of life-history strategies in Atlantic salmonProc. R. Soc. Lond. B2366481Google Scholar
  8. Mikheev, V.N., Wanzenböck, J. 1999Satiation-dependent, intra-cohort variations in prey size selection of young roach (Rutilus rutilus)Oecologia121499505Google Scholar
  9. Milinski, M. 1982Optimal foraging: The influence of intraspecific competition on diet selectionBehav. Ecol. Sociobiol.11109115Google Scholar
  10. Persson, L. 1988Asymmetries in competitive and predatory interactions in fish populationsEbenman, B.Persson, L. eds. Size-structured populations – ecology and evolutionSpringer VerlagHeidelberg, Germany203218Google Scholar
  11. Post, J.R., McQueen, D.J. 1988Ontogenetic changes in the distribution of larval and juvenile yellow perch (Perca flavescens): A response to prey or predatorCan. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci.4518201826Google Scholar
  12. Post, J.R., McQueen, D.J. 1994Variability in first year growth of yellow perch (Perca flavescens): Predictions from a simple model, observations and an experimentCan. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci.5125012512Google Scholar
  13. Post, J.R., Johannes, M.R.S., McQueen, D.J. 1997Evidence of density-dependent cohort splitting in age-0 yellow perch (Perca flavescens): Potential behavioural mechanisms and population-level consequencesCan. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci.54867875Google Scholar
  14. Skulason, S., Smith, T.B. 1995Resource polymorphisms in vertebratesTrends Ecol. Evol.10366370Google Scholar
  15. Staffan, F., Magnhagen, C., Alanärä, A. 2002Variation in food intake within groups of juvenile perchJ. Fish Biol.60771774Google Scholar
  16. Venne, H., Magnan, P. 1995The impact of intra- and interspecific interactions on young-of-the-year brook char, in temperate lakesJ. Fish Biol.46669686Google Scholar
  17. Westerberg, M., Staffan, F., Magnhagen, C. 2004Influence of predation risk on individual competitive ability and growth in Eurasian perch, Perca fluviatilisAnim. Behav.67273279Google Scholar
  18. Winfield, I.J. 1990Predation pressure from above: Observations on the activities of piscivorous birds at a shallow eutrophic lakeHydrobiologia191223231Google Scholar
  19. Wootton, R.J. 1998Ecology of teleost fishes2 Kluwer Academic PublishersDordrecht386Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor N. Mikheev
    • 1
  • Anna F. Pasternak
    • 2
  • Gerhard Tischler
    • 3
  • Josef Wanzenböck
    • 3
  1. 1.A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.P.P. Shirshov Institute of OceanologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Institute for LimnologyAustrian Academy of SciencesMondseeAustria

Personalised recommendations