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Phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits and feeding appendages in two species of Daphnia fed a natural phytoplankton assemblage



Phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits and feeding appendages in two species of Daphnia fed a natural phytoplankton assemblage



Aquatic Ecology ober; 37(4): 409-415



The ability of two cladoceran species - Daphnia pulicaria and D. mendotae - to utilize a natural phytoplankton assemblage dominated by cyanobacteria was investigated experimentally. Reference animals were fed high quality green algae. The natural phytoplankton assemblage originated from Oneida Lake (NY, USA). Both cladoceran species occur in the lake, but their densities vary temporally. As expected, lake phytoplankton were a poor food source. Fecundity decreased, and age at first reproduction and offspring size increased. The magnitude of these effects varied between and within species. The increase in offspring size differs from studies using toxic cyanobacterial strains, but agrees with expectations on adaptive responses to low food availability. Both species performed equally on the lake phytoplankton, but D. pulicaria appeared to be the superior species in the high quality food treatment.

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Accession: 012411581

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DOI: 10.1023/b:aeco.0000007048.87897.36


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