Ecophysiology of Aufwuchs-eating cichlids in Lake Tanganyika: niche separation by trophic specialization

By Sturmbauer, Christian & W. Mark, R. Dallinger

Environmental Biology of Fishes, v.35(3), pp. 283-290 (Nov-1992)


" The Aufwuchs-eating cichlids of Lake Tanganyika show clear trophic differences that are correlated to their morphology, physiology and foraging behaviour. The species are grouped into three categories of relative intestinal length according to their feeding habits. A correlation between the intestinal length and the diet could be demonstrated, ranging from around 2.5 for species ingesting more animal food, to 7.8 for detritivorous and microalgivorous species. The relative intestinal length of domestic Tropheus moorii, raised in aquaria was significantly lower than that of wild individuals by a factor of 1.7, demonstrating a wide range of phenotypic adaptability. The activities of trypsin and amylase were at an equal level in four Aufwuchseating species, but the activity of laminarinase of a detritivorous-microalgivorous species (Petrochromis orthognathus) was 2.6 times higher than that of an algivorous species (Tropheus moorii). The laminarinase seems to be an excellent marker enzyme for detritivorous or microalgivorous feeding "

Classification: Physiology and diseases, Lake Tanganyika.

Language: English

Sturmbauer, Christian & W. Mark, R. Dallinger. 1992. "Ecophysiology of Aufwuchs-eating cichlids in Lake Tanganyika: niche separation by trophic specialization". Environmental Biology of Fishes. v.35(3), pp. 283-290 (crc02725) (abstract)