Fish abundance and trophic structure from the commercial catch in Lake Patzcuaro, Mexico

  • César A. Berlanga-Robles
  • Juan Madrid-Vera
  • Arturo Ruiz-Luna
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 163)


The composition, abundance and trophic structure of the fish community in Lake Patzcuaro is analyzed, using data from eight samples taken from the commercial fishery acquired between August 1990 and April 1991. A total of 65 767 individuals, caught with gillnets selective to all fish and size, were analyzed. Eleven species (8 native and 3 exotic) were recorded during the study. Zooplanktivorous were the most representative species, amounting to 91% of the total number. Also, they were the most characteristic species (36.4%) when feeding habits were considered, followed by carnivore and omnivore (27.3% each), and herbivore (9.1%). Three species groups and three time-associated groups were detected by means of classification methods. Lake Patzcuaro’s ichthyofauna is to be considered as a transitional community that has not reached equilibrium, particularly after the introduction of exotic species and local extinction of native species. However, Lake Patzcuaro has the greatest fishery production of all tropical lakes in the Central Plain of Mexico and it is mainly sustained by native species. The differential use of feeding resources by the fish species and the diversity in their habits must be taken into account to design strategies to maintain the fish structure (avoiding new introduction of exotic species) and the fish production in Lake Patzcuaro.


endemism fish assemblages trophics exotic species tropical lakes fish production Lake Patzcuaro Mexico 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • César A. Berlanga-Robles
    • 1
  • Juan Madrid-Vera
    • 2
  • Arturo Ruiz-Luna
    • 1
  1. 1.CIAD-Unidad MazatlanMazatlanMexico
  2. 2.CRIP-MazatlanMazatlanMexico

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