Retention Efficiency, Perceptual Bias, and Active Choice as Mechanisms of Food Selection by Suspension-Feeding Zooplankton

  • William R. DeMott
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 20)


Suspension-feeding Zooplankton live in environments in which nutritious algae are mixed with particles of low food value, such as silt, detritus, and indigestible or toxic algae (Porter 1977). In this situation an ability to select nutritious particles should be advantageous, provided that the cost of handling and rejecting individuals particles is low. Nonetheless suspension feeding is often considered synonymous with “filter feeding”, a term which suggests a passive, mechanical mode of food collection. For a filter feeder, food selection is largely a function of the range of particle sizes which can be retained by the feeding apparatus and successfully ingested (Boyd 1976). Within the past 10 years, however, a rapidly growing number of studies have shown that many taxa of Zooplankton are not mechanical filter feeders but are able to use complex behaviors to select between individual particles which differ size or nutritional value (reviewed by Price 1988).


Particulate Organic Carbon Calanoid Copepod Food Selection Perceptual Bias Cyclopoid Copepod 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • William R. DeMott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences and Crooked Lake Biological StationIndiana University-Purdue University at Fort WayneFort WayneUSA

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