Oecologia

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 289–292 | Cite as

Cost and speed of locomotion for rotifers

  • Robert W. Epp
  • William M. LewisJr
Original Papers

Summary

The hypothesis that the ciliary locomotion of rotifers is size limited and that it accounts of a significant portion of the energy budget was investigated using the genera Brachionus and Asplanchna. Speed of movement was measured among clones of different size in Brachionus, which shows little size variation through development. The same tests were done among individuals of different size within a clone of Asplanchna, which shows significant postembryonic size increase. In both cases, relative speed (body lengths per second) decreased significantly as body size increased. On this basis, and ecologically limiting size for ciliary locomotion is proposed. The actual cost of locomotion was measured for Brachionus; it is 62% of total metabolism, even though the theoretical (calculated) power requirements are well below 1% of total metabolism. Ciliary locomotion in the Rotifera thus appears to be extremely inefficient (low ratio of theoretical to actual power requirements). This hypothesis is supported indirectly by the sensitivity of speed to total metabolic rate in Brachionus: both plateau over the temperature range 20–32°C and decline in parallel outside this range. Unexpectedly high actual cost of locomotion is proposed as an important disadvantage of the Rotifera, partly offsetting the advantages accruing to them from small body size.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Epp RW, Lewis, WM Jr (1979) Sexual dimorphism in Brachionus plicatilis (Rotifera): Its evolutionary and adaptive significance. Evolution 33:919–928Google Scholar
  2. Epp RW, Lewis WM Jr (1980) Metabolic uniformity over the environmental temperature range in Brachionus plicatilis (Rotifera). In: Dumont HJ, Green J (eds) Proceeding of the Second International Rotifer Symposium. Junk, The Hague, pp 145–147Google Scholar
  3. Gilbert JJ (1977) Defenses of males against cannibalism in the rotifer Asplanchna; Size, shape and failure to elicit tactile feeding responses. Ecology 58:1128–1135Google Scholar
  4. Hutchinson GE (1967) A treatise on limnology. Vol 2. Introduction to lake biology and limnoplankton. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Lasker R (1966) Feeding, growth, respiration and carbon utilization of a Euphausiid crustacean. J Fish Res Bd Can 23:1291–1317Google Scholar
  6. Lewis WM Jr (1979) Zooplankton community analysis. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Sleigh MA, Blake JR (1977) Methods of Ciliary Propulsion and their size limitations. In: Pedley JR (ed) Scale effects in animal locomotion. Academic Press, New York, pp 243–256Google Scholar
  8. Snedecor GW, Cochran WG (1976) Statistical Methods (6th ed.) Iowa University Press, Ames, IowaGoogle Scholar
  9. Vlymen WJ (1970) Energy expenditure of swimming in copepods. Limnol Oceanogr 15:348–356Google Scholar
  10. Zeuthen E (1971) Rate of living as related to body size in organisms. Poliske Archiwum Hydrobiologii 17:21–30Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Epp
    • 1
  • William M. LewisJr
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental, Population, and Organismic BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

Personalised recommendations