Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 3, pp 851–861 | Cite as

Characteristics of feeding on dinoflagellates by newly hatched larval crabs

  • Nicole Burnett
  • Stephen Sulkin
Research Article

Abstract

The zoeal larvae of brachyuran crabs must feed soon after hatching on a diet that includes large micro- and mesozooplankton in order to satisfy nutritional requirements. However, newly hatched larvae have been shown to ingest a variety of dinoflagellates, perhaps using microbial carbon sources to sustain them until they encounter more favored prey. Ingestion of dinoflagellates by larval crabs has been documented previously under conditions in which the larvae were exposed to algae provided in monoculture or in defined mixtures of cells. We report here on experiments conducted on the hatching stage of five crab species to determine if ingestion of dinoflagellates occurred when they were provided in combination with Artemia sp. nauplii or after a period of feeding on mesozooplankton. Quantitative measurements of chl a in the larval guts provided evidence of ingestion of algal cells. Active ingestion of the dinoflagellate Prorocentrum micans at specified intervals during an extended feeding period was determined on larvae of two crab species using fluorescently labeled cells provided for brief periods at prescribed time intervals. Stage 1 larvae of four of the five crab species ingested dinoflagellates when they were provided in combination with nauplii and larvae of all five species ingested cells after feeding solely on nauplii for 24 h. Ingestion of algal cells was first evident in the larval guts after 6 h of feeding at both low (200 cell ml−1) and high (1,000 cells ml−1) prey densities. Higher prey densities resulted in higher gut chl a. Larvae continuously exposed to dinoflagellates actively ingested cells at every 3 h interval tested over a 36 h period. Results confirm previous studies that larvae will ingest dinoflagellates even when they are encountered in a mixed prey field or when having previously fed. Ingestion of cells may occur on a continual basis over time.

Keywords

Dinoflagellate Prey Density Crab Species Larval Crab Cancer Magister 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper includes data submitted in partial fulfillment of the Master’s of Science degree to Western Washington University by the first author. The first author was supported by graduate assistantships provided by the Shannon Point Marine Center and received further support from the National Science Foundation through grant #9729316. We thank F. Perez, G. McKeen, N. Schwarck, H. Ko, S. Strom, G. Muller-Parker and B. Bingham for technical assistance. Experiments conducted as part of this research comply with the laws of the United States of America.

References

  1. Ally J (1975) A description of the laboratory reared larvae of Cancer gracilis Dana, 1852 (Decapoda; Brachyura). Crustaceana 28:231–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anger K, Dawirs R (1981a) Effects of early starvation periods on zoeal development of brachyuran crabs. Biol Bull 161:199–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anger K, Dawirs R (1981b) Influence of starvation on the larval development of Hyas araneus (Decapoda; Majidae). Helgol Wiss Meeresunters 34:287–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arar E, Collins G (1997) In vitro determination of chlorophyll a and pheophytin a in marine and freshwater algae by fluorescence. National Exposure Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency, Method 445.0. http://www.epa.gov/nerlwww/m445_0.pdf
  5. Bigford T (1978) Effect of several diets on survival, developmental time, and growth of laboratory-reared spider crab, Libinia Emarginata, larvae. Fish Bull 76:59–64Google Scholar
  6. Bochdansky A, Deibel D, Hatfield E (1998) Chlorophyll a conversion and gut passage time for the pelagic tunicate Oikopleura vanhoeffeni (Appendicularia). J Plankton Res 20:2179–2197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Copping, A (1982) The distribution and passage of organic matter in the marine food web, using nitrogen as a tracer. PhD thesis, University of Washington, Seattle, WAGoogle Scholar
  8. Harms J, Seeger B (1989) Larval development and survival in seven decapod species (Crustacea) in relation to laboratory diet. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 133:129–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hart J (1935) The larval development of British Columbia Brachyura. Xanthidae, Pinnotheridae (in part) and Grapsidae. Can J Res 12:411–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hartman M (1994) Effects of exposure of ovigers to petroleum hydrocarbons on subsequent zoeal development of the brachyuran crab, Hemigrapsus oregonensis using diet as an experimental tool. MS thesis, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WAGoogle Scholar
  11. Hinz S, Sulkin S, Strom S, Testermann J (2001) Discrimination in ingestion of protistan prey by larval crabs. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 222:155–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Incze L, Paul A (1983) Grazing and predation as related to energy needs of stage I zoeae of the Tanner Crab Chionoecetes bairdi (Brachyura, Majidae). Biol Bull 165:197–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lehto J, Sulkin S, Strom S, Johnson D (1998) Protists and detrital particles as prey for the first larval stage of the brachyuran crab, Hemigrapsus oregonensis. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 230:213–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McConaugha J (1985) Nutrition and larval growth. In: Wenner M (ed) Crustacean issues 2: larval growth. Balkema, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp 127–159Google Scholar
  15. Meyer-Harms B, Harms J (1993) Detection of phytoplankton pigments by HPLC in Hyas araneus larvae (Crustacia, Decapoda): Comparison of field and laboratory samples. J Sea Res 31:153–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Parsons T, Maita Y, Lalli C (1984) A manual of chemical and biological methods for seawater analysis. Pergamon, Oxford, England. Chap 4Google Scholar
  17. Paul A, Paul J, Shoemaker P, Feder H. (1979) Prey concentrations and feeding response in laboratory-reared stage one zoea of King Crab Paralithodes camtschatica, Snow Crab Chionoecetes bairdi, and Pink Shrimp Pandalus borealis. Trans Am Fish Soc 108:440–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Paul A, Paul J, Coyle K (1989) Energy sources for first-feeding zoeae of King Crab Paralithodes camtschatica (Tilesius) (Decapoda, Lithodidae). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 130:55–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Perez M, Sulkin S (2005) Palatability of autotrophic dinoflagellates to newly-hatched larval crabs. Mar Biol 146:771–780CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Staton J, Sulkin S (1991) Nutritional requirements and starvation resistance in larvae the brachyuran crabs Sesarma cinereum (Bosc) and S. reticulatum (Say). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 152:271–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shaber K, Sulkin S (2006) Feeding on dinoflagellates by intermediate and late stage crab zoeae raised in the laboratory and collected from the field. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol (in press)Google Scholar
  22. Teegarden G (1999) Copepod grazing selection and particle discrimination on the basis of PSP toxin content. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 181:163–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shannon Point Marine CenterAnacortesUSA

Personalised recommendations