Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain diel vertical migration (DVM); however, they have generally been applied to DVM behavior of a single trophic level. We evaluate the costs (predation risk) and benefits (foraging rate and growth rate potential) of different hypothetical and observed DVM trajectories for a three-level pelagic food chain in Lake Superior containing opossum shrimp (Mysis relicta), deepwater ciscoes (Coregonus spp.), and lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Lake trout appear to be maximizing foraging and growth rates by tracking vertically migrating ciscoes, while the DVM trajectories of ciscoes suggests a trade-off between predation risk and growth. For ciscoes, two alternative DVM trajectories both minimize the ratio of risk to growth: a shallow trajectory that follows low light levels down to 80 m during the day and a deep trajectory (below 150 m) that tracks highest Mysis densities. Observed cisco DVM trajectories appear to follow the shallow high risk - high growth trajectory in 2001, but switch to the deep, low risk - low growth trajectory in 2004 when lake trout density was higher and the density of ciscoes was lower.
|Number of pages
|Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
|Published - Oct 2006