The diel variations in feeding behaviour and vertical distribution were determined for ten species of a tropical fish community in a shallow SE Sri Lankan reservoir. The fish community consisted of two introduced exotic tilapias and eight indigenous riverine species including five cyprinids, one clarid, one hemiramphid and one gobid. Multi-mesh gillnets dividing the water column in six depth strata were set with a six-hour interval throughout four 24-hour periods. The study of the diel variation in feeding behaviour was based on analysis of catch data, gut contents and gut fullness per setting time. The diel variation in Vertical distribution was determined per species for each of the six depth-strata. Feeding behaviour and vertical distribution differed significantly among species and for most species throughout the 24-hour period. Feeding behaviour and vertical distribution were correlated. The status of whether or not a fish is feeding determines if the trophic and spatial resource dimensions are interrelated. Resource partitioning along the spatial dimension may reduce exploitative competition at the time of feeding, whereas it may limit interference competition or predation during non-feeding periods. [KEYWORDS: ecology; tropics; tilapia; cyprinids; niche occupation; exploitative competition; interference competition Juvenile sockeye salmon; perca-fluviatilis l; freshwater fish;eutrophic lake; yellow perch; habitat; food; zooplankton; migration; cichlidae]
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
Journal publication date1997

ID: 97727