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Research Letters in Ecology
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 94587, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2007/94587
Research Letter

Species Diversity Enhances Predator Growth Rates

1Department of Biology, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster 17604, PA, USA
2Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford 06106, CT, USA

Received 20 September 2007; Accepted 10 December 2007

Academic Editor: Oswald J. Schmitz

Copyright © 2007 Mark H. Olson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Predators can be important top-down regulators of community structure and are known to have both positive and negative effects on species diversity. However, little is known about the reciprocal effects of species diversity on predators. Across a set of 80 lakes in Connecticut, USA, we found a strong positive correlation between prey species diversity (using the Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index) and growth rates of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). This correlation was strongest for small predators and decreased with body size. Although the underlying mechanisms are not known, the correlation is not driven by total fish abundance, predator abundance, or productivity.