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Competitive exclusion in Cladocera through elevated mortality of adults


Gabriel,  Wilfried
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Matveev, V., & Gabriel, W. (1994). Competitive exclusion in Cladocera through elevated mortality of adults. Journal of Plankton Research, 16(9), 1083-1094.

The population dynamics of two cladocerans, Ceriodaphnia pulchella and Diaphanosoma brachyurum competing under laboratory conditions in lake water was analysed using crosscorrelations. Both mixed and isolated populations of the two cladocerans showed delayed density dependence in the death rates of juveniles and adults as well as in fecundity rate. The regressions for each of the three rates on total density of competitors were compared between the two species. There were no significant differences in the slopes of regressions for fecundity rates and the death rates of juveniles. However, in the inferior competitor (Diaphanosoma) which went extinct in all treatments, the death rate of adults increased with total density much more quickly than in the superior competitor (Ceriodaphnia). The intraspecific comparisons indicated that while Ceriodaphnia adults survived better than juveniles under conditions of crowding, in Diaphanosoma, juveniles were better survivors than adults. These data suggest that the contention of higher vulnerability of cladoceran juveniles than adults to starvation and crowding may prove to be not a universal phenomenon.