Combined effects of food quality and temperature on somatic growth and reproduction of two freshwater cladocerans

Masclaux, Hélène, Alexandre Bec, Martin Kainz, Christian Desvilettes, Lionel Jouve, Gilles Bourdier

Limnol. Oceanogr., 54(4), 2009, 1323-1332 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2009.54.4.1323

ABSTRACT: We investigated the effect of food quality on somatic growth and reproduction of zooplankton at different temperatures (12°C, 15°C, 20°C, and 25°C). Standardized growth experiments of two cladocerans, Daphnia magna and Simocephalus vetulus, were performed on (1) high-quality food (Cryptomonas sp.), (2) relatively low-quality food (Scenedesmus obliquus), and (3) intermediate-quality food (Cryptomonas : Scenedesmus mixture). Food quality constraints on somatic growth and reproduction of the two cladocerans decreased with increasing temperature. For D. magna and for S. vetulus, differences between clutch size and growth rate of individuals fed on the three food sources were highly pronounced when they were reared at 12°C and 15°C; however, such differences decreased at 20°C and were negligible at 25°C. Variations in food quality constraints with temperature can be explained by the variability of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid and stearidonic acid requirements of these cladocerans. We conclude that dietary constraints exerted by food quality for zooplankton development vary as a function of different temperature conditions.

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