Primary production, food web structure, and fish yields in constructed and natural wetlands in the floodplain of an African river Academic Article uri icon


  • In the Oum River, Africa, whedo (artificial pond) aquaculture on the floodplain is an important method of fishery production. We surveyed fishes in whedos and adjacent main-channel and floodplain habitats during the receding-water period (December 2010 January 2011) and analyzed carbon (13C) and nitrogen (15N) stable isotope ratios of fish and primary producer tissue samples to investigate food web structure. We also measured instream respiration, net primary production, algal biomass (chlorophyll a), and nutrient concentrations in the habitats. Floodplain habitats were more nutrient-rich than the river channel, and whedos were net heterotrophic (net primary production < 0). Phytomicrobenthos and C3 macrophytes accounted for a large fraction of fish biomass in whedos and the natural floodplain depression, while the river channel was mainly supported by seston and C3 macrophytes. Whedo food webs were dominated by piscivorous fishes and had fewer trophic transfers compared with the food web of the river channel. Our results suggest that control of aquatic macrophyte growth in whedos may yield greater algal production and consumer biomass, including harvestable fish stocks.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Jackson, A. T., Adite, A., Roach, K. A., & Winemiller, K. O.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Jackson, Andrew T||Adite, Alphonse||Roach, Katherine A||Winemiller, Kirk O

editor list (cited editors)

  • Weyhenmeyer, G.

publication date

  • April 2013