Marine Biology

, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 59–64 | Cite as

Modification of the feeding behavior of marine copepods by sub-lethal concentrations of water-accommodated fuel oil

  • M. S. Berman
  • D. R. Heinle


The feeding behaviors of Acartia clausi and A. tonsa were measured in samples of water containing low levels of a water-accommodated fraction of No. 2 fuel oil. The copepods fed normally at a hydrocarbon concentration of 70 μg l-1, but their feeding behavior was altered both quantitatively and qualitatively at a concentration of 250 μg l-1. Three types of response to the higher oil level were found. The first was total suppression of feeding. Both other types involved suppression of feeding on particles between 7 and 15 μm diameter, but one showed no change in the ingestion of larger particles, whereas the other displayed increased feeding on particles larger than 15 μm diameter. These results suggest that the species of Acartia studied use three different modes of feeding, each on a different size range of particulate material. Low-level hydrocarbon pollution affects each feeding mode differently.


Hydrocarbon Size Range Large Particle Feeding Behavior Particulate Material 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. S. Berman
    • 1
  • D. R. Heinle
    • 1
  1. 1.Chesapeake Biological LaboratoryUniversity of Maryland, Center for Environmental and Estuarine StudiesSolomonsUSA

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