, Volume 93, Issue 4, pp 508–511

Grazing resistance in nutrient-stressed phytoplankton

  • Ellen van Donk
  • Dag O. Hessen
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00328958

Cite this article as:
van Donk, E. & Hessen, D.O. Oecologia (1993) 93: 508. doi:10.1007/BF00328958


Grazing experiments were performed with the zooplankters Daphnia pulex and Daphnia magna, feeding on phosphorus-saturated and phosphorus-limited cells of two green algae (Scenedesmus subspicatus and Selenastrum capricornutum). P-limited algal cells passed largely intact through the gut and were thus spared from heavy grazing pressure. P-saturated algal cells, in contrast, were efficiently assimilated. Structural and morphological changes in the P-limited cells most probably reduced their digestibility. This phenomenon may be an important factor in zooplankton production and competition, and may serve as an example of a highly efficient strategy of P-limited algae to resist heavy grazing pressure.

Key words

Grazing Phosphorus limitation Daphnia Selective digestibility 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen van Donk
    • 1
  • Dag O. Hessen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Nature Conservation, Section Aquatic EcologyAgricultural University WageningenWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Norwegian Institute for Water ResearchOsloNorway

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