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1) In the absence of larger prey options, what food source did northern pike optimize on?
Stomach content analysis showed pike specialization on leeches.
2) In Venturelli et al.’s experiment with Northern Pike, the removal of prey fish represents what natural event?
Removal of prey fish represents the effects of winterkill conditions.
3) How did a diet of invertivory affect northern pike growth?
Observed growth rate of adult northern pike in experimental lakes was low compared to reference lakes, suggesting that the sudden switch between food sources had a negative effect on growth and that leeches are not an ideal food source for adult leeches.
4) How did a leech-heavy diet affect juvenile pike?
Juvenile pike who eating leeches averaged larger in size than control and reference pike.
5) Although leeches are a higher energy food source than fish (calories per mg), why are they an unsuitable replacement in the northern pike diet?
Northern pike depending largely on a leech diet must spend much more time hunting and gathering food sources because prey are much smaller in size.