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Journal Article

Grazer-induced changes in the desmid Staurastrum

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons57003

Wiltshire,  Karen
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56603

Boersma,  Maarten
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56728

Meyer,  Barbara
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Wiltshire, K., Boersma, M., & Meyer, B. (2003). Grazer-induced changes in the desmid Staurastrum. Recent Developments in Fundamental and Applied Plankton Research, 255-260.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-DC27-4
Abstract
In aquatic environments, predator kairomones have been shown to affect morphology of prey species. Past work on the interaction between zooplankton and phytoplankton was based mainly on the Daphnia - Scenedesmus model. Algae of the genus Staurastrum can producemucilage, causing cell clumping and settling out of the water column. These clumps are too large to be eaten by daphniids. Thus, we hypothesised that this may be a grazer defence. We investigated whether Daphnia magna induces the formation of mucus globules in Staurastrum, how this occurs, and if the formation of clumps inhibits growth in juvenile Daphnia. Eight strains of Staurastrum were used to check whether mucus extrusion is induced by the presence of Daphnia or possibly by a chemical excreted by Daphnia magna. None of the strains reacted to the presence of Daphnia water alone, animals had to be present to induce clumping. Mechanical action ( gentle stirring) caused the same strains to clump. The ecological relevance of clumping was then investigated. The different Staurastrum strains were used as food in a growth experiment with ecologically relevant densities of neonates of Daphnia hyalina. These small daphniids did not cause the same clumping observed for Daphnia magna when present in experiments at high densities. We observed that juvenile daphniids grew less well on strains with larger cell size.