Original paper

Food composition and dietary overlap of macro-invertebrates in a shallow eutrophic lake in China: spatial and temporal variations

Liu, Xue-Qin; Wang, Hong-Zhu


The present study was conducted in Lake Donghu, a suburban eutrophic lake arising from the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, China. Food composition of 32 taxa of zoobenthos was analyzed from 1251 gut samples. Macroinvertebrate primary consumers ingested mainly detritus, sand grains and diatoms. The predators primarily preyed on rotifers, crustaceans, oligochaetes and chironomid larvae. The dietary overlap was relatively high among collector taxa but low among other macroinvertebrates. Food composition and dietary overlap of macroinvertebrates changed considerably, both spatially and temporally. Food web structure differed between inshore and offshore regions of Lake Donghu. The inshore web was relatively complex and dynamic whereas the offshore web was simple and stable. Taxon-specific changes of diet seem to have little effect on the benthic food web structure in offshore waters of a eutrophic lake.


food compositiondietary overlapmacroinvertebrateseutrophic lake