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PLoS One. 2013 May 7;8(5):e62557. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062557. Print 2013.

Zooplankton feeding on the nuisance flagellate Gonyostomum semen.

Author information

1
Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden. karin.johansson@slu.se

Abstract

The large bloom-forming flagellate Gonyostomum semen has been hypothesized to be inedible to naturally occurring zooplankton due to its large cell size and ejection of long slimy threads (trichocysts) induced by physical stimulation. In a grazing experiment using radiolabelled algae and zooplankton collected from lakes with recurring blooms of G. semen and lakes that rarely experience blooms, we found that Eudiaptomus gracilis and Holopedium gibberum fed on G. semen at high rates, whereas Daphnia cristata and Ceriodaphnia spp. did not. Grazing rates of E. gracilis were similar between bloom-lakes and lakes with low biomass of G. semen, indicating that the ability to feed on G. semen was not a result of local adaptation. The high grazing rates of two of the taxa in our experiment imply that some of the nutrients and energy taken up by G. semen can be transferred directly to higher trophic levels, although the predominance of small cladocerans during blooms may limit the importance of G. semen as a food resource. Based on grazing rates and previous observations on abundances of E. gracilis and H. gibberum, we conclude that there is a potential for grazer control of G. semen and discuss why blooms of G. semen still occur.

PMID:
23667489
PMCID:
PMC3646948
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0062557
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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