The trophic ecology of the demersal fish community of Lake Malawi/Niassa, Central Africa, partim Ostracoda (Crustacea)


The demersal fish of Lake Malawi comprises a community of high biodiversity and a valuable human food resource. Cichlid fish that make up most of the community are characterised by slow growth rates, low fecundity and restricted distribution. Increasing exploitation of fish risks severe ecological impact that could alter the trophic dynamics of the lake as a whole. While the demersal communities comprise the most diverse and productive fisheries in the lake, there is very little known of their ecology and, often, of the patterns of exploitation. Fisheries surveys in Malawi that provide catch statistics have altered in methodology over a number of years and are of variable quality. Fisheries statistics from Tanzania and Mozambique are negligible. The lake is also a habitat for a number of other taxonomic groups, for which there is even less basic information than for the fish species. The main objectives of the project was to 1) provide trophic models to quantify energy flows through the demersal fish community and the food web that supports it in order to understand the principal components of the food web and to detect the main ecological effects of disturbance, such as increased fishing activity on it; and 2) determine the existing fishing pressure on the demersal fish community through analysis of fisheries statistics and evaluation of those through calibration studies.


freshwater, trophic ecology, limnology, ancient lakes, lentic, hydrobiology, taxonomy, morphological phylogeny, molecular phylogeny, speciation, evolution, zoology, Ecology, Limnology and hydrobiology, Morphology, Phylogeny and evolution, Systematics and taxonomy, Ponds and lakes, standing waters, Inland Water Biodiversity, 2. Origins, Maintenance and Change of Biodiversity, tropical Africa, C-Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, lake Malawi, Niassa, Arthropoda, Crustacea, Ostracoda


Malawi {Geographical scope}
Mozambique {Geographical scope}
Tanzania {Geographical scope}
Inland Waters {Habitat type}


Name Role Start End
Martens, Koenraad promotor
Snoeks, Jos member 1998-03-01 2002-02-01


Name Role Start End
Freshwater biology unknown


Name Role Start End
The trophic ecology of the demersal fish community of Lake Malawi/Niassa, Central Africa partner

created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:biodiv

© 2012 by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform