Effects of Biomanipulation on Fish and Plankton Communities in Ten Eutrophic Lakes of Southern Finland
The effects of biomanipulation were studied in ten Finnish lakes to determine responses in fish and plankton communities and water quality after mass removal of cyprinids. From 1997 to 2001, the fish communities shifted from the dominance of large cyprinids to an explosion of small cyprinids and a higher proportion of piscivores in effectively biomanipulated lakes (>200 kg ha-1 3 yr-1). The biomass of cyanobacteria decreased, and the duration of the blooms shortened and shifted towards the autumn. Decreased concentrations and slower cycling of nutrients and increased grazing by cladocerans probably affected the declined biomass of cyanobacteria. Less intensive sediment disturbance and increased phosphorus-retention in fast growing fish biomass may have turned the role of the fish assemblage from ‘nutrient recycler’ to ‘nutrient storage’. Increased potential grazing pressure, higher proportion of edible algae, and lower chlorophyll a:total phosphorus ratio indicated strengthened herbivore control. A high mass removal catch in relation to trophic state, low background turbidity, and bearable external loading favoured the successful biomanipulation, whereas intensive cyprinid reproduction, high nutrient loading and non-algal turbidity hindered the recovery. Three important issues should be noticed before biomanipulation in Finland: (1) careful selection of target lake, (2) well-planned, effective and long-lasting biomanipulation and (3) sustainable management of piscivores.