, Volume 675, Issue 1, pp 75–86 | Cite as

Diet overlap between the newly introduced Lamprichthys tanganicanus and the Tanganyika sardine in Lake Kivu, Eastern Africa

  • M. P. Masilya
  • F. Darchambeau
  • M. Isumbisho
  • J.-P. Descy
Primary Research Paper


This study evaluates the possible competition for food between Lamprichthys tanganicanus, recently introduced in Lake Kivu, and Limnothrissa miodon, which has been the basis of the pelagic fishery in this lake for several decades. Since 2006, L. tanganicanus has expanded in the lake and its numbers have increased in the captures, raising concern for the sardine fishery. We carried out a 2-year monthly survey, based on experimental captures in littoral and pelagic stations, which demonstrated the invasive dispersal of L. tanganicanus in littoral and pelagic waters. The diet of both species was determined on the basis of gut content analyses, taking into account the influence of site and season, and a diet overlap index was calculated. In the pelagic zone, where almost all size classes of both species were present and essentially fed upon mesozooplankton, the diet overlap was high. This situation stems from the fact that L. tanganicanus has colonized the pelagic zone in Lake Kivu, likely in search for more abundant mesozooplankton. Inshore, the diet overlap between the two species was lower, as L. tanganicanus consumed a broad range of food, whereas L. miodon strongly selected insects and, chiefly for the largest specimens, fishes. These results suggest a likelihood of interspecific competition, particularly offshore, where mesozooplankton is the main available food type, and call for further monitoring of the sardine fishery, to assess a possible impact of the invader.


Exotic species Resource competition Large African lake Fisheries 



This study was financed by the Commission Universitaire pour le Développement de la Communauté française de Belgique through the ECOSYKI Project and by the University of Namur through the Ph.D. scholarship to Pascal Masilya. François Darchambeau is a Postdoctoral researcher of the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research. The authors are grateful to Mrs Georges Alunga Lufungula, Pitchou Munini M’Mende, and Kisekelwa Tchalondawa for field and laboratory assistance. Thanks to two anonymous reviewers for their many useful suggestions and comments to improve this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. P. Masilya
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. Darchambeau
    • 1
    • 3
  • M. Isumbisho
    • 2
  • J.-P. Descy
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology, URBE, Department of BiologyUniversity of NamurNamurBelgium
  2. 2.Unité d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Hydrobiologie Appliquée (UERHA)ISP/BukavuBukavuDemocratic Republic of Congo
  3. 3.Chemical Oceanography UnitLiègeBelgium

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