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Journal Article

Feeding ecology of the freshwater detritivore Ptychoptera paludosa (Diptera, Nematocera)

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons57010

Wolf,  Beate
Limnological River Station Schlitz, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons57026

Zwick,  Peter
Limnological River Station Schlitz, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56815

Marxsen,  Jürgen
Limnological River Station Schlitz, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Wolf, B., Zwick, P., & Marxsen, J. (1997). Feeding ecology of the freshwater detritivore Ptychoptera paludosa (Diptera, Nematocera). Freshwater Biology, 38(2), 375-386.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-C907-7
Abstract
Selected aspects of the nutritional ecology of larval Ptychoptera paludosa were examined and their role in nutrient cycling in the Breitenbach, a first-order stream in Hesse, Germany. Food preference experiments demonstrated significant preference for sediments with a high organic matter content and live bacteria. pH was circumneutral in all sections of the gut. Enzymatic activity (beta-glucosidase and amino-peptidase) in different parts of the gut was measured. beta-glucosidase activity was highest in the hindgut. The mean larval gut passage time was between 7 and 8 h. The egestion rate of last instar larve was about 0.35 mg dry weight (DW) faeces per larva h⁻¹ and about 1.25 mg ash-free dry weight (AFDW) faeces per mg larval AFDW day⁻¹. Larval faeces contained at least 4-18 times more organic matter than the average in the sediments in which they were feeding, that is, larvae fed selectively, extracting organic matter from sediments. P. paludosa larvae are important in the dynamics of detritus in slow-flowing reaches of the Breitenbach. They gather organic material from the sediment to a depth of 3 cm, and release it as faeces onto the sediment surface. A total of 770 g DW faeces m⁻² yr⁻¹, comprising about 16% organic matter, was produced by the Ptychoptera population.