, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 432–437 | Cite as

Zooplankton-induced unicell-colony transformation in Scenedesmus acutus and its effect on growth of herbivore Daphnia



The effects of colonial ecomorphs of the green alga Scenedesmus acutus on growth of Daphnia cucullata and D. pulex were examined. In ecologically relevant densities (up to 200 animals l-1) the relatively small D. cucullata did not induce colony formation in Scenedesmus acutus, whereas the larger congener D. pulex significantly promoted colony formation. Both clearance rate and population growth rate (r) were significantly lower in D. cucullata when fed colonial Scenedesmus then when fed unicellular food. However, for D. pulex no effects of food type were observed. These results show that large Daphnia may influence its food in such a way that smaller congeners and competitors are negatively affected.

Key words

Colony formation Daphnia Life history Scenedesmus Infochemicals 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bern L (1990) Size-related discrimination of nutritive and inert particles by freshwater zooplankton. J Plankton Res 12:1059–1067Google Scholar
  2. Boersma M, Vijverberg J (1994) Resource depression in Daphnia galeata, Daphnia cucullata and their interspecific hybrid: life history consequences. J Plankton Res 16:1741–1758Google Scholar
  3. Brendelberger H, Geller W (1985) Variability of filter structures in eight Daphnia species: mesh-sizes and filtering areas. J Plankton Res 7:473–486Google Scholar
  4. Burns CW (1968) The relationship between body size of filterfeeding Cladocera and the maximum size of particles ingested. Limnol Oceanogr 13:675–678Google Scholar
  5. DeMott WR (1995) The influence of prey hardness on Daphnia's selectivity for large prey. Hydrobiologia 307:127–138Google Scholar
  6. Dicke M, Sabelis MW (1988) Infochemical terminology: based on cost-benefit analysis rather than origin of compounds? Funct Ecol 2:131–139Google Scholar
  7. Dodson SI (1989) Predator-induced reaction norms. Bioscience 39:447–452Google Scholar
  8. Ebert D, Jacobs J (1991) Differences in life-history and aging in two clonal groups of Daphnia cucullata Sars (Crustaceae: Cladocera). Hydrobiologia 225:245–253Google Scholar
  9. Geller W, Müller H (1981) The filtration apparatus of cladocera: filter mesh-sizes and their implications on food selectivity. Oecologia 49:316–321Google Scholar
  10. Helgen JC (1987) Feeding rate inhibition in crowded Daphnia pulex. Hydrobiologia 154:113–119Google Scholar
  11. Hessen DO, Van Donk E (1993) Morphological changes in Scenedesmus induced by substances released from Daphnia. Arch Hydrobiol 127:129–140Google Scholar
  12. Holm NP, Ganf GG, Shapiro J (1983) Feeding and assimilation rates of Daphnia pulex fed Aphanizomenon flos-aqua. Limnol Oceanogr 28:677–687Google Scholar
  13. Lampert W, Rothaupt KO, Elert E von (1994) Chemical induction of colony formation in a green alga (Scenedesmus acutus) by grazers (Daphnia). Limnol Oceanogr 39:1543–1550Google Scholar
  14. Lürling M, Van Donk E (in press) Morphological changes in the alga Scenedesmus induced by an infochemical released in situ from zooplankton grazers. Limnol OceanogrGoogle Scholar
  15. Lynch M (1980) Aphanizomenon blooms: alternate control and cultivation by Daphnia pulex. In: Kerfoot WC (ed) Evolution and ecology of zooplankton communities. University Press of New England, London, pp 299–304Google Scholar
  16. Lynch M (1989) The life-history consequences of resource depression in Daphnia pulex. Ecology 70:246–256Google Scholar
  17. Matveev V (1993) An investigation of allelopathic effects of Daphnia. Freshwater Biol 29:99–105Google Scholar
  18. McCauley E, Downing JA (1985) The prediction of cladoceran grazing rate spectra. Limnol Oceanogr 30:202–212Google Scholar
  19. Meyer JS, Ingersoll CG, McDonald LL, Boyce MS (1986) Estimating uncertainty in population growth rates: jackknife vs. bootstrap techniques. Ecology 67:1156–1166Google Scholar
  20. Porter KG, Gerritsen J, Orcutt Jr JD (1983) Functional response and fitness in a generalist filter feeder, Daphnia magna (Cladocera, Crustaceae). Ecology 64:735–742Google Scholar
  21. Reede T (1995) Life history shifts in response to different levels of fish kairomones in Daphnia. J Plankton Res 17:1661–1667Google Scholar
  22. Skulberg OM, Skulberg R (1990) Research with algal cultures. NIVA's culture collection of algae. (NIVA=) Norwegian Institute For Water Research, OsloGoogle Scholar
  23. Sommer U, Gliwicz ZM, Lampert W, Duncan A (1986) The PEG-model of seasonal succession of planktonic events in fresh water. Arch Hydrobiol 106:433–471Google Scholar
  24. Tollrian R (1993) Neckteeth formation in Daphnia pulex as an example of continuous phenotypic plasticity: morphological effects of Chaoborus kairomone concentration and their quantification. J Plankton Res 15:1309–1318Google Scholar
  25. Trainor FR (1992) Cyclomorphosis in Scenedesmus armatus (Chlorophyta): an ordered sequence of ecomorph development. J Phycol 28:553–558Google Scholar
  26. Trainor FR (1993) Cyclomorphosis in Scenedesmus subspicatus (Chlorococcales, Chlorophyta): stimulation of colony development at low temperature. Phycologia 32:429–433Google Scholar
  27. Trainor FR, Egan P (1990) Phenotypic plasticity in Scenedesmus (Chlorophyta) with special reference to S. armatus unicells. Phycologia 29:461–469Google Scholar
  28. Trainor FR, Egan P (1991) Discovering the various ecomorphs of Scenedesmus: the end of a taxanomic era. Arch Protistenkd 139:125–132Google Scholar
  29. Vanni MJ, Lampert W (1992) Food quality effects on life history traits and fitness in the generalist herbivore Daphnia. Oecologia 92:48–57Google Scholar
  30. Wood AM, Leatham T (1992) The species concept in phytoplankton ecology. J Phycol 28:723–729Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Water Quality Management & Aquatic EcologyAgricultural University WageningenWageningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations