Direct and indirect effects of carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) on macrophyte and benthic communities in experimental shallow ponds in central Mexico

  • Luis Zambrano
  • Demián Hinojosa
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 143)


An experiment was conducted for 11 months in five controlled small ponds (c 0.05 ha) to determine the effects of common carp on water turbidity, and macrophyte and benthic communities in subtropical shallow systems. By using exclosures in ponds, we also looked for carp direct effects (by predation disturbance) and indirect effects (by increasing turbidity, and decreasing refuge sites) on rooted macrophyte and benthic communities. Results showed that at densities equal or higher than 0.8 ind. m−2 carp suffers from intraspecific competition. At the same densities, carp produces an increment of water turbidity, but the relation is non-linear, suggesting a switch effect, from a clear-water-system to a turbid-water-system. We also found that a direct effect of carp on macrophytes depends on the susceptibility of each species. Carp affects benthic abundance directly by predation, but its indirect effects on it remain unknown.

Key words

aquaculture benthivorous fish exclosures subtropical ponds water turbidity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis Zambrano
    • 1
  • Demián Hinojosa
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de EcologíaMéxico D.F.Mexico

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