Copepod growth and diatoms: insensitivity of Acartia tonsa to the composition of semi-natural plankton mixtures manipulated by silicon:nitrogen ratios in mesocosms

Sommer, Ulrich (2009) Copepod growth and diatoms: insensitivity of Acartia tonsa to the composition of semi-natural plankton mixtures manipulated by silicon:nitrogen ratios in mesocosms Oecologia, 159 . pp. 207-215. DOI 10.1007/s00442-008-1193-9.

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Abstract

The feeding selectivity and the growth and reproductive success of the copepod Acartia tonsa have been studied in mesocosms fertilized at different Si:N ratios (0-1.75:1) and, therefore, at different compositions of the phytoplankton communities. Phytoplankton composition showed a strong response to nutrient ratios, with diatoms comprising > 90% at Si:N ratios > 1:1 of total biomass as opposed to < 20% at the lowest ratio. A. tonsa strongly preferred feeding on motile prey (flagellates and ciliates) to feeding on diatoms. Nevertheless, diatoms comprised a substantial part of the diet at the highest Si:N ratios. A. tonsa egg production and the final (after 4 weeks) abundance of adults and copepodites showed no response to Si:N ratios while nauplii production slightly increased with Si:N ratios. It is concluded that the frequently reported deleterious effect of diatoms on copepod reproduction is rather unusual when copepods are confronted with a naturally diverse phytoplankton assemblage instead of clonal cultures in the laboratory.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Copepods, diatoms, Food chain, Plankton
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00442-008-1193-9
ISSN: 0029-8549
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2009 17:01
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2017 14:46
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/5630

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