Advertisement

Hydrobiologia

, Volume 570, Issue 1, pp 89–93 | Cite as

Seasonal variability in the palatability of freshwater macrophytes: a case study

  • A. ElgerEmail author
  • M. H. Barrat-Segretain
  • N. J. Willby
Article

Abstract

The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis (L.) was used for a laboratory assessment of seasonal variation in palatability of three freshwater macrophytes: Potamogeton lucens, Elodea canadensis and E. nuttallii. For each species, 2–5 populations were investigated in spring and in summer. Preliminary results showed that the feeding rate of similarly-aged snails bred under standard conditions was stable over time. In contrast, snail feeding rate on the three macrophyte species decreased from spring to summer, which was therefore interpreted as a decrease in plant palatability. This decrease was probably due to tissue maturation, as suggested by the concomitant increase in the dry matter content of leaves of the three species. The high palatability of the species studied during the spring may prove detrimental in cases of strong herbivore pressure, and could have consequences for macrophyte distribution among aquatic habitats.

Keywords

aquatic plants dry matter content herbivory Lymnaea stagnalis phenology 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alonso, C., Herrera, C. 2000Seasonal variation in leaf characteristics and food selection by larval noctuids on an evergreen Mediterranean shrubActa Oecoligica21257265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bolser, R. C., Hay, M. E., Lindquist, N., Fenical, W., Wilson, D. 1998Chemical defenses of freshwater macrophytes against crayfish herbivoryJournal of chemical Ecology2416391658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bryant, J. P., Chapin, F. S., Klein, D. R. 1983Carbon/nutrient balance of boreal plants in relation to vertebrate herbivoryOikos40357368Google Scholar
  4. Cebrian, J. 1999Patterns in the fate of production in plant communitiesAmerican Naturalist154449468PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cronin, G. 1998Influence of macrophyte structure, nutritive value, and chemistry on the feeding choices of a generalist crayfishJeppesen, E.Søndergaard, Ma.Søndergaard, Mo.Christoffersen, K. eds. The Structuring Role of Submerged Macrophytes in LakesSpringer-VerlagNew-York307317Google Scholar
  6. Cronin, G., Hay, M. E. 1996Within-plant variation in seaweed palatability and chemical defenses: optimal defense theory versus the growth-differenciation balance hypothesisOecologia105361368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dumay, O., Pergent, G., Pergent-Martini, C., Amade, P. 2002Variations in Caulerpenyne contents in Caulerpa taxifolia and Caulerpa racemosa Journal of chemical Ecology28343352PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Elger, A., Barrat-Segretain, M. H 2002Use of the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis (L.) in laboratory experiments for evaluating macrophyte palatabilityArchiv für Hydrobiologie153669683Google Scholar
  9. Elger, A., Barrat-Segretain, M. H., Amoros, C. 2002Plant palatability and disturbance level in aquatic habitats: an experimental approach using the snail Lymnaea stagnalis (L.)Freshwater Biology47931940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Elger, A., Willby, N. J. 2003Leaf dry matter content as an integrative expression of plant palatability: the case of freshwater plantsFunctonal Ecology175865CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Feeny, P. 1970Seasonal changes in oak leaf tannins and nutrients as a cause of spring feeding by winter moth caterpillarsEcology51565581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grime, J. P., Cornelissen, J. H. C., Thompson, K., Hodgson, J. G. 1996Evidence of a causal connection between anti-herbivore defence and the decomposition rate of leavesOikos77489494Google Scholar
  13. Gross, E. M., Johnson, R. L., Hairston, N. G.,Jr 2001Experimental evidence for changes in submersed macrophyte species composition caused by the herbivore Acentria ephemerella (Lepidoptera)Oecologia127105114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Herms, D. A., Mattson, W. J. 1992The dilemna of plants: to grow or to defendQuarterly Review of Biology67283335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Holomuzki, J. R., Biggs, B. J. F. 1999Distributional responses to flow disturbance by a stream-dwelling snailOikos873647Google Scholar
  16. Jacobsen, D., Sand-Jensen, K. 1992Herbivory of invertebrates on submerged macrophytes from Danish freshwatersFreshwater Biology28301308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jacobsen, D., Sand-Jensen, K. 1994Invertebrate herbivory on the submerged macrophyte Potamogeton perfoliatus in a Danish streamFreshwater Biology314352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lodge, D. M. 1991Herbivory on freshwater macrophytesAquatic Botany41195224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lodge, D. M., Cronin, G., Donk, E., Froelich, A. J. 1998Impact of herbivory on plant standing crop: comparisons among biomes, between vascular and nonvascular plants, and among freshwater herbivore taxaJeppesen, E.Søndergaard, Ma.Søndergaard, Mo.Christoffersen, K. eds. The Structuring Role of Submerged Macrophytes in LakesSpringer-VerlagNew-York149174Google Scholar
  20. Mattson, W. J.,Jr 1980Herbivory in relation to plant nitrogen contentAnnual Review of Ecology and Systematics11119161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mochnacka-Lawacz, H. 1974Seasonal changes of Phragmites communis Trin. Part II. Mineral contentsPolish Archives of Hydrobiology21369380Google Scholar
  22. Müller-Riebau, F. J., Berger, B. M., Yegen, O., Cakir, C. 1997Seasonal variations in the chemical compositions of essential oils of selected aromatic plants growing wild in TurkeyJournal of agricultural Food and Chemistry4548214825CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Newman, R. M. 1991Herbivory and detritivory on freshwater macrophytes by invertebrates: a reviewJournal of the North American Benthological Society1089114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Newman, R. M., Kerfoot, W. C., Hanscom, Z. 1996Watercress allelochemical defends high-nitrogen foliage against consumption: effects on freshwater invertebrate herbivoresEcology7723122323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pennings, S. C., Carefoot, T. H., Siska, E. L., Chase, M. E., Page, T. A. 1998Feeding preferences of a generalist salt-marsh crab: relative importance of multiple plant traitsEcology7919681979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sand-Jensen, K., Madsen, T. V. 1989Invertebrates graze submerged rooted macrophytes in lowland streamsOikos55420423Google Scholar
  27. Sheldon, S. P. 1987The effects of herbivorous snails on submerged macrophytes communities in Minnesota lakesEcology6819201931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Smits A. J. M., 1994. Ecophysiological studies on nymphaeid water plants. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Nijmegen, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  29. Speiser, B., Rowell-Rahier, M. 1991Effects of food availability, nutritional value, and alkaloids on food choice in the generalist herbivore Arianta arbustorum (Gastropoda: Helicidae)Oikos62306318Google Scholar
  30. Van, T. K., Wheeler, G. S., Center, T. D. 1998Competitive interactions between Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) and Vallisneria (Vallisneria americana) as influenced by insect herbivoryBiological Control11185192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wallace, J. B., O’Hop, J. 1985Life on a fast pad: waterlily leaf beetle impact on water liliesEcology6615341544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Westoby, M. 1998A leaf-height-seed (LHS) plant ecology strategy schemePlant and Soil199213227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wilson, P. J., Thompson, K., Hodgson, J. G. 1999Specific leaf area and leaf dry matter content as alternative predictors of plant strategiesNew Phytologist143155162CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Elger
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • M. H. Barrat-Segretain
    • 1
  • N. J. Willby
    • 2
  1. 1.UMR CNRS 5023, Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes FluviauxUniversité Claude Bernard Lyon 1Villeurbanne cedexFrance
  2. 2.School of Aquatic SciencesUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK
  3. 3.UMR CNRS 5172, Dynamique de la BiodiversitéUniversité Paul Sabatier Toulouse 3France

Personalised recommendations