, Volume 594, Issue 1, pp 141–152 | Cite as

Low filtering rates of Daphnia magna in a hypertrophic lake: laboratory and in situ experiments using synthetic microspheres

  • M. Sahuquillo
  • M. G. G. Melão
  • M. R. MiracleEmail author


Zooplankton grazing was measured in Albufera of València (Spain), a shallow turbid hypertrophic lagoon dominated by filamentous bluegreens, during the period of Daphnia magna growth, to evaluate the role of this cladoceran in maintaining a clear water phase which takes place after flushing for rice cultivation practices. We found extremely low ingestion and clearance rates (CR) on latex beads in situ, using a Haney trap suggesting potentially strong inhibition of grazing by the filamentous cyanobacteria, still flourishing in the lagoon. To test the effect of filaments, we undertook laboratory feeding experiments using six different dilutions of the lagoon water to vary filament concentrations, and four different bead concentrations. A highly significant power function between CR and water dilution associated with filament concentrations was found, indicating that the ability of Daphnia to exploit smaller edible algae and thereby control phytoplankton growth would depend on filament concentration levels in the lagoon. From our results only the two more diluted treatments, 9 × 103 and 18 × 103 filament ml−1 showed CRs not far from the range of what would be normally expected on the basis of the general relationship of feeding rate as a function of total food concentration. This means that at lower food concentrations, filaments reduce D. magna CR by increasing total food concentration beyond the incipient limiting level, as well as by moderate mechanical interference with the animal’s feeding. However, at lagoon water concentrations above 25% (corresponding to filament concentrations of 75 × 105 filaments ml−1), extremely low CR’s, which did not respond to any food addition, were obtained for D. magna. From these results we can infer that at concentrations beyond the above-mentioned critical level, feeding inhibition by filamentous cyanobacteria is most probably due entirely to mechanical interference.


Cladocera Eutrophication Grazing Cyanobacteria Microspheres 



We want to specially thank E. Vicente for his help with the in situ experiment and constant support in the lab, to Robert Hart for his revision of the manuscript and to the personal of Albufera Natural Park and Oficina Técnica Devesa Albufera for facilities during field work. We wish to thank CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Brazil) for provide to M.G.G Melão a post-doctorate fellowship at the Universidad de València (Spain).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Sahuquillo
    • 1
  • M. G. G. Melão
    • 2
  • M. R. Miracle
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departament de Microbiologia i Ecologia, Facultat de BiologiaUniversitat de ValènciaBurjassotSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de HidrobiologiaUniversidade Federal de São CarlosSao CarlosBrazil

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