, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 579-585
Date: 10 Jul 2007

Effect of mixed diets (cyanobacteria and green algae) on the population growth of the cladocerans Ceriodaphnia dubia and Moina macrocopa

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Microcystis aeruginosa, a cosmopolitan form, is a colonial cyanobacterium, which is also common in many freshwater bodies in Mexico. In eutrophic water bodies cyanobacteria are often the main phytoplankton that co-exist with cladocerans. We evaluated the effect of mixed diets, comprising 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100% on dry weight basis of M. aeruginosa, and the rest of one of two green algal species (Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus acutus), on the population growth of the cladocerans Ceriodaphnia dubia and Moina macrocopa. Regardless of the share of M. aeruginosa in the mixed diet, C. dubia fed Chlorella had a longer initial lag phase. However, in mixed diet with S. acutus, the lag phase of C. dubia increased with increasing proportion of M. aeruginosa. When raised on 100% M. aeruginosa, the population growth of C. dubia was lowered compared with 100% S. acutus or 100% C. vulgaris. Increased proportion of M. aeruginosa in the mixed diet also resulted in decreased abundance of M. macrocopa. Irrespective of diet type, M. macrocopa had a shorter lag phase than C. dubia. Depending on the diet type, the rate of population increase (r) of C. dubia varied from 0.07 to 0.26 d−1 while that of M. macrocopa was higher (0.14–0.61 d−1). For both cladoceran species, the lower r values were obtained when fed Microcystis. Our study showed that the strain of M. aeruginosa was not highly toxic to cause total elimination of either C. dubia or M. macrocopa. Addition of a green algal component to the diet improved the population growth rates of both cladoceran species.