Response of life history traits to food conditions in a cyclopoid copepod from an oligotrophic environment

Makino, Wataru, Syuhei Ban

Limnol. Oceanogr., 45(2), 2000, 396-407 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2000.45.2.0396

ABSTRACT: The Cyclops sp. responses of life history traits (growth, development, and reproduction) to food conditions from oligotrophic Lake Toya were analyzed by rearing animals individually under four food regimes: three densities of the alga Cryptomonas tetrapyrenoidosa and nauplii of the calanoid copepod Eurytemora affinis as prey in an algal suspension. Cyclops sp. grew successfully from newborn nauplii to adults when algal density was >=4 x 103 cells ml-1 . Development time was shorter and body length larger in the high-density (H) treatment (4 x 104 cells ml-1 ) than in medium-density (M) treatment (4 x 103 cells ml-1) until the early copepodite stages. In late copepodite stages, females tended to grow more slowly but tended to be larger in the M treatment than in the H treatment. However, stage-specific growth rates were similar among treatments during development, suggesting a trade-off between body size and development time. Although the egg production rate was higher in the M treatment than in the H treatment, it depended on female body size regardless of the food regime. Furthermore, the weight-specific egg production rate was the same among treatments, indicating egg production was not affected by the algal concentrations tested. Addition of copepod prey influenced neither postembryonic development time nor body size, and egg production rates were comparable to those reared with an algal diet. These results reveal that even older copepodites and adults, which are generally thought to be predacious, do not necessarily require animal prey for growth and reproduction, and that Cyclops sp. can complete its life cycle on an algal diet alone. For female Cyclops sp., reduction of algal density resulted in slow development and large body size, which might be an adaptation to the oligotrophic environment, the original habitat of the copepod.

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