Annual flooding in Cambodia opens up new food resources for fish

The Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia is a seasonal wetland that floods every year during the rainy season. New research examining the isotope ratios in carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen in fish, shows that fish species benefit greatly from this flooding because it expands their access to new and different types of food contained in the newly flooded areas. The resulting highly diverse assemblage of fish species are the basis of a productive fishery that is a major provider of food in the region, which will be impacted in uncertain ways by the planned construction of more than 200 dams in the greater Mekong River Basin that feeds Tonle Sap Lake. The research by SAFS postdoc Thomas Pool, Prof. Gordon Holtgrieve, and their coauthors, appears in the journal Ecosphere.

Photo: Thomas Pool
Photo: Thomas Pool

 

Photo: Thomas Pool

 

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