, Volume 658, Issue 1, pp 163–171 | Cite as

Ecological strategy of rotifer (Brachionus calyciflorus) exposed to predator- and competitor-conditioned media

Primary research paper


Chemical communication may inform about the location of prey, predators, co-specifics, and mate partners in zooplankton. In this study, we evaluated several life-history traits of the rotifer, Brachionus calyciflorus, exposed to conditioned media by a rotifer predator (Asplanchna brightwelli) and a cladocera competitor (Daphnia similis), quantifying population growth and life-table demography at two algal food levels (2.0 and 0.5 × 106 cells ml−1 of Chlorella pyrenoidosa). At both food levels, B. calyciflorus grown in predator-conditioned media had lower population abundance and slower population growth rate than controls. Conversely, the competitor-conditioned media treatments produced both higher rotifer population abundance and faster population growth rate than controls. Life-history parameters varied significantly depending on the presence of predator and competitor-conditioned media. The Asplanchna-conditioned media significantly decreased gross reproductive rate (GRR): 8–9 offsprings per female; net reproductive rate (R0): 6–7 offsprings per female; population growth rate (r): 0.34–0.37 day−1; and increased generation time (T): 5.5–5.6 days. On the other hand, The Daphnia-conditioned media significantly increased the GRR (13–14 offsprings per female); net reproductive rate (8–9 offsprings per female); population growth rate (0.42–0.43 day−1); and decreased generation time (4.9–5.0 days). However, the effects of food level on the life-history characteristic were not significant in both treatments. Maximum values of the population abundance and the population growth rate are significantly influenced by the predator densities and pre-culture time. This study suggests that rotifers use variable life-history strategies (low reproduction and high survivorship versus high reproduction and low survivorship) based on the presence of predators and competitors.


Chemical communication Life table Population growth Brachionus calyciflorus Predator-competitor induce 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, School of Life SciencesNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of BiologyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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