Marine Biology

, Volume 142, Issue 4, pp 727–733 | Cite as

Escape responses of copepod nauplii in the flow field of the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis

  • S. GreenEmail author
  • A. W. Visser
  • J. Titelman
  • T. Kiørboe


Bivalves are important grazers on phytoplankton in shallow waters. However, very little is known about their ability to capture actively moving zooplankton. We investigated the escape response and success of early and late nauplii of three copepod species (Acartia tonsa, Temora longicornis and Eurytemora affinis) in the flow field of a blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, using both video observations and incubation experiments. An empirical model was created to describe the spatial distribution of the fluid deformation rate. Nauplii responded with escape jumps at mean fluid deformation rates of 0.6–1.9 s−1. Escape success differed between taxa. T. longicornis was the poorest escaper, while A. tonsa and E. affinis were more efficient and similar to one another. Deformation rates differed in different parts of the flow field, which resulted in differences in escape success between the sectors. Nauplii were caught most often in the sector furthest away from the exhalent siphon, where the deformation rate was the weakest. There the nauplii were unable to detect an escape signal in time to react and flee.


Phytoplankton Flow Field Zebra Mussel Zooplankton Community Escape Response 
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This study was financed by grants from NorFa, the Walter and Andrée de Nottbeck Foundation and the Academy of Finland to S.G. and a EU-TMR Marie Curie PhD Fellowship (ERBFMBICT 971833) to J.T. We are grateful to J. Melby for giving practical advice in the laboratory, H. Jacobsen for helping in managing the data, E. Pedersen for constructing devices for the laboratory work and M. Viitasalo for helpful comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Green
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. W. Visser
    • 2
  • J. Titelman
    • 2
    • 3
  • T. Kiørboe
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Systematics, Division of Hydrobiology University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Danish Institute for Fisheries ResearchCharlottenlundDenmark
  3. 3.Plymouth Marine LaboratoryPlymouthUnited Kingdom

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