, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp 532–541 | Cite as

Estimating population birth rates of zooplankton when rates of egg deposition and hatching are periodic

  • R. M. Dorazio
Original Papers


I present a general method of computing finite birth and death rates of natural zooplankton populations from changes in the age distribution of eggs and changes in population size. The method is applicable to cases in which eggs hatch periodically owing to variable rates of oviposition. When morphological criteria are used to determine the age distribution of eggs at the beginning and end of a sampling interval, egg mortality can be incorporated in estimates of population birth rate. I raised laboratory populations of Asplanchna priodonta, a common planktonic rotifer, in semicontinuous culture to evaluate my method of computing finite birth rate. The Asplanchna population became synchronized to a daily addition of food but grew by the same amount each day once steady state was achieved. The steady-state rate of growth, which can be computed from the volume-specific dilution rate of the culture, was consistent with the finite birth rate predicted from the population's egg ratio and egg age distribution.


Birth Rate Population Birth Rate Variable Rate Sampling Interval Dilution Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Argentesi F, de Bernardi R, di Cola G (1974) Mathematical models for the analysis of population dynamics in species with continuous recruitment. Mem Ist Ital Idrobiol 31:245–275Google Scholar
  2. Boraas ME (1983) Population dynamics of food-limited rotifers in two-stage chemostat culture. Limnol Oceanogr 28:546–563Google Scholar
  3. Bottrell HH, Duncan A, Gliwicz ZM, Grygierek E, Herzig A, Hillbricht-Ilkowska A, Kurasawa H, Larsson P, Weglenska T (1976) A review of some problems in zooplankton production studies. Norw J Zool 24:419–456Google Scholar
  4. Brubaker DC (1972) The influence of migration on the age classes of Daphnia in Frains Lake, Michigan. Ph.D. Thesis, University of MichiganGoogle Scholar
  5. Caswell H (1972) On instantaneous and finite birth rates. Limnol Oceanogr 17:787–791Google Scholar
  6. Chiang CL (1968) Introduction to stochastic processes in biostatistics. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Cummins KW, Costa RR, Rowe RE, Moshiri GA, Scanlon RM, Zajdel RK (1969) Ecological energetics of a natural population of the predaceous zooplankter Leptodora kindtii Focke (Cladocera). Oikos 20:189–223Google Scholar
  8. DeMott WR (1980) An analysis of the precision of birth and death rate estimates for egg-bearing zooplankters. Am Soc Limnol Oceanogr Spec Symp 3:337–345Google Scholar
  9. Dorazio RM (1986) Demographic and experimental approaches to zooplankton population dynamics. Ph.D. Thesis, University of MichiganGoogle Scholar
  10. Dorazio RM, Lehman JT (1983) Optimal reproductive strategies in age-structured populations of zooplankton. Freshwater Biol 13:157–175Google Scholar
  11. Droop MR (1975) The chemostat in mariculture. In: Persoone G, Jaspers E (eds) Proceedings of the 10th European Symposium on Marine Biology, Ostend Vol 1. Universal Press. pp 71–93Google Scholar
  12. Edmondson WT (1960) Reproductive rates of rotifers in natural populations. Mem Ist Ital Idrobiol 12:21–77Google Scholar
  13. Edmondson WT (1965) Reproductive rate of planktonic rotifers as related to food and temperature in nature. Ecol Monogr 35:61–111Google Scholar
  14. Edmondson WT (1974) Secondary production. Mitt Int Ver Theor Angew Limnol 20:229–272Google Scholar
  15. Edmondson WT (1979) Problems of zooplankton population dynamics. Mem Ist Ital Idrobiol Suppl 37:1–11Google Scholar
  16. Edmondson WT, Litt AH (1982) Daphnia in Lake Washington. Limnol Oceanogr 27:272–293Google Scholar
  17. Elster HJ (1954) Über die Populationsdynamik von Eudiaptomus gracilis Sars and Heterocope borealis Fischer im Bodensee-Obersee. Arch Hydrobiol Suppl 20:546–614Google Scholar
  18. Gilbert JJ (1980) Feeding in the rotifer Asplanchna: behavior, cannibalism, selectivity, prey defenses, and impact on rotifer communities. Am Soc Limnol Oceanogr Spec Symp 3:158–172Google Scholar
  19. Gophen M (1978) Errors in the estimation of recruitment of early stages of Mesocyclops leukarti (Claus) caused by the diurnal periodicity of egg production. Hydrobiologia 57:59–64Google Scholar
  20. Goulden CE, Hornig LL (1980) Population oscillations and energy reserves in planktonic Cladocera and their consequences to competition. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 77:1716–1720Google Scholar
  21. Goulden CE, Henry LL, Tessier AJ (1982) Body size, energy reserves, and competitive ability in three species of Cladocera. Ecology 63:1780–1789Google Scholar
  22. Green J (1956) Growth, size and reproduction in Daphnia (Crustacea: Cladocera). Proc Zool Soc London 126:173–204Google Scholar
  23. Hall DJ (1964) An experimental approach to the dynamics of a natural population of Daphnia galeata mendotae. Ecology 45:94–112Google Scholar
  24. Haney JF, Hall DJ (1973) Sugar-coated Daphnia: a preservation technique for Cladocera. Limnol Oceanogr 18:331–333Google Scholar
  25. Harding JP, Marshall SM, Orr AP (1951) Time of egg-laying in the planktonic copepod Calanus. Nature 167:953Google Scholar
  26. Johnsen G (1983) Egg age distribution, the direct way to cladoceran birth rates. Oecologia (Berlin) 60:234–236Google Scholar
  27. Keen R, Nassar R (1981) Confidence intervals for birth and death rates estimated with the egg-ratio technique for natural populations of zooplankton. Limnol Oceanogr 26:131–142Google Scholar
  28. Leslie PH (1948) Some further notes on the use of matrices in population mathematics. Biometrika 35:213–245Google Scholar
  29. Lynch M (1980) The evolution of cladoceran life histories. Q Rev Biol 55:23–42Google Scholar
  30. Lynch M (1982) How well does the Edmondson-Paloheimo model approximate instantaneous birth rates? Ecology 63:12–18Google Scholar
  31. Lynch M (1983) Estimation of size-specific mortality rates in zooplankton populations by periodic sampling. Limnol Oceanogr 28:533–545Google Scholar
  32. Magnien RE, Gilbert JJ (1983) Diel cycles of reproduction and vertical migration in the rotifer Keratella crassa and their influence on the estimation of population dynamics. Limnol Oceanogr 28:957–969Google Scholar
  33. Meyer SL (1975) Data analysis for scientists and engineers. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. Meyers DG (1984) Egg development of a chydorid cladoceran, Chydorus sphaericus, exposed to constant and alternating temperature: significance to secondary productivity in fresh waters. Ecology 65:309–320Google Scholar
  35. Mullin CH (1968) Egg-laying in the planktonic copepod Calanus helgolandicus (Claus), Crustaceana Suppl 1 Stud Copepoda pp 29–34Google Scholar
  36. Paloheimo JE (1974) Calculation of instantaneous birth rate. Limnol Oceanogr 19:692–694Google Scholar
  37. Pastorok RA (1980) Selection of prey by Chaoborus larvae: a review and new evidence for behavioral flexibility. Am Soc Limnol Oceanogr Spec Symp 3:538–554Google Scholar
  38. Pielou EC (1977) Mathematical ecology, 2nd ed. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  39. Polishchuk LV, Ghilarov AM (1981) Comparison of two approaches used to calculate zooplankton mortality. Limnol Oceanogr 26:1162–1168Google Scholar
  40. Prepas E (1978) Sugar-frosted Daphnia: an improved fixation technique for Cladocera. Limnol Oceanogr 23:557–559Google Scholar
  41. Rothhaupt KO (1985) A model approach to the population dynamics of the rotifer Brachionus rubens in two-stage chemostat culture. Oecologia (Berlin) 65:252–259Google Scholar
  42. Saunders JF (1980) Diel patterns of reproduction in rotifer populations from a tropical lake. Freshwater Biol 10:35–39Google Scholar
  43. Scott JM (1980) Effect of growth rate of the food alga on the growth/ingestion efficiency of a marine herbivore. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 60:681–702Google Scholar
  44. Seitz A (1979) On the calculation of birth rates and death rates in fluctuaring populations with continuous recruitment. Oecologia (Berlin) 41:343–360Google Scholar
  45. Stemberger RS (1981) A general approach to the culture of planktonic rotifers. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 38:721–724Google Scholar
  46. Swift MC, Fedorenko AY (1975) Some aspects of prey capture by Chaoborus larvae. Limnol Oceanogr 20:418–426Google Scholar
  47. Taylor BE, Slatkin M (1981) Estimating birth and death rates of zooplankton. Limnol Oceanogr 26:144–159Google Scholar
  48. Tessier AJ (1984) Periodicity of egg laying and egg age distributions in planktonic Cladocera. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 41:409–413Google Scholar
  49. Tessier AJ, Henry LL, Goulden CE, Durand MW (1983) Starvation in Daphnia: energy reserves and reproductive allocation. Limnol Oceanogr 28:667–676Google Scholar
  50. Threlkeld ST (1979) Estimating cladoceran birth rates: the importance of egg mortality and the egg age distribution. Limnol Oceanogr 24:601–612Google Scholar
  51. Tonolli V (1961) Studio sulla dinamica del popolamento di un copepoda (Eudiaptomus vulgaris Schmeid.). Mem Ist Ital Idrobiol 13:179–202Google Scholar
  52. Venkataraman K, Job SV (1980) Effect of temperature on the development, growth, and egg production in Daphnia carinata King (Cladocera-Daphnidae). Hydrobiologia 68:217–224Google Scholar
  53. Walz N (1983) Continuous culture of the pelagic rotifers Keratella cochlearis and Brachionus angularis. Arch Hydrobiol 98:70–92Google Scholar
  54. Weglenska T (1971) The influence of various concentrations of natural food on the development, fecundity and production of planktonic crustacean filtrators. Ekol Pol 19:427–473Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Dorazio
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biological Sciences and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic ScienceThe University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations