The influence of biomanipulation on fish community development in a southeastern United States cooling reservoir

Michael H Paller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


L Lake, a reactor cooling reservoir in South Carolina, USA was managed after filling to promote the development of healthy ecological communities similar to those in mature regional cooling reservoirs. Two types of biomanipulation were undertaken to achieve this goal, the introduction of typical southeastern US reservoir fishes (bluegill and largemouth bass) and artificial planting of native aquatic macrophytes. Fish assemblages were monitored by electrofishing from reservoir filling in 1986 until 1998. Multivariate analysis divided the fish samples into five sequential periods resulting from species replacements and additions. Small species that colonized L Lake from a feeder stream predominated in the first period but were mostly eliminated, as bluegill, largemouth bass, and other lentic species increased in the second period. A rapid increase in threadfin shad abundance characterized the third period, and small littoral zone and phytophilous fishes increased during the fourth and fifth periods coincident with the proliferation of aquatic macrophytes. Analysis of Bray-Curtis similarities and the species accumulation rate indicated that the rate of fish community change decreased with time and that fish community structure changed little during the last several years of the study. By the end of the study, community structure was similar to that in a nearby cooling reservoir that supported diverse and resilient biota. Biomanipulation contributed to the rapid establishment of lentic species and later increases in small littoral and phytophilous species suggesting that biomanipulation may be useful in accelerating fish community development in new cooling reservoirs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-81
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2005


  • Biomanipulation
  • Community development
  • Fish community
  • Management
  • Reservoir
  • Temporal change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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