, Volume 96, Issue 3, pp 304–309

Importance of fungi in the diet of Gammarus pulex and Asellus aquaticus

II. Effects on growth, reproduction and physiology
  • M. A. S. Graça
  • L. Maltby
  • P. Calow
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00317498

Cite this article as:
Graça, M.A.S., Maltby, L. & Calow, P. Oecologia (1993) 96: 304. doi:10.1007/BF00317498


An important component of the interaction between macroinvertebrates and leaf litter in streams in the extent to which consumers can differentiate between undecomposed and decomposing leaves. The detritivores Gammarus pulex and Asellus aquaticus fed preferentially on conditioned rather on unconditioned leaf material. Growth in A. aquaticus was significantly reduced when unconditioned leaves were provided, but in G. pulex no significant effect of conditioning on growth was observed. The capacity of G. pulex to tolerate reductions in food quality seems to be a consequence of a compensatory system in which respiration rates change to compensate for reductions in food quality. In this way a constant growth rate is maintained. Increases in ingestion rates to compensate for low quality food were not observed.

Key words

Food quality Growth Energy budgets Gammarus pulex Asellus aquaticus 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. S. Graça
    • 1
  • L. Maltby
    • 2
  • P. Calow
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de ZoologiaUniversidade de CoimbraCoimbra CodexPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Animal & Plant SciencesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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