Are monoalgal diets inferior to plurialgal diets to maximize cultivation of the calanoid copepod Temora stylifera?
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Temora stylifera adult copepods were fed with four different monoalgal diets and six combinations of the same cultures for 15 days. Fecundity, hatching success, number of cannibalized embryos, fecal pellet production, adult mortality and naupliar recruitment were compared, in order to find the best diet for this species. Phytoplankton species tested were Prorocentrum minimum (PRO); Isochrysis galbana (ISO); Tetraselmis suecica (TETRA) and Rhodomonas baltica (RHO) which were supplied alone or in different combinations and at various concentrations ranging from a minimum of 1 mg C L−1 day−1 to a maximum of 66 mg C L−1 day−1. Of the ten diets tested, ISO was the worst and was unable to sustain egg production and adult survival possibly because adults were unable to ingest this alga due to its small size. TETRA was also a poor food since it negatively impacted egg production and adult survival, as well as egg hatching success, possibly due to the lack of essential compounds necessary for optimal embryogenesis. RHO and PRO were the best foods inducing highest egg production, hatching success and naupliar recruitment. Even if mean egg production rates were similar to those obtained with some mixed diets, carbon intake concentrations with mixed diets were from 3 to 33 and from 6.6 to 66 times higher than with RHO and PRO given alone, respectively. Mixed diets of ISO and PRO, especially when supplied at higher concentrations (66 mg C L−1 day−1), had a negative effect on egg hatching success and adult survival, with a corresponding reduction in naupliar recruitment. On the other hand, mixed diets of TETRA and PRO promoted high naupliar recruitment but values were similar to PRO offered alone. Our results indicate that a good monoalgal diet such as RHO and PRO can be as effective as a mixed diet to sustain the mass cultivation of T. stylifera.
KeywordsFecal Pellet Adult Survival Hatching Success Calanoid Copepod Mixed Diet
We wish to thank Maria Gabriella Malzone, Cira Rico and Francesca Rinna for their help at various stages of this study, Ylenia Carotenuto, Francesco Esposito and Mario Di Pinto for their useful suggestions during the experiments. Funding for this study was provided by the Regione Campania project (DGR no. 889-30/06/2006) to IB. The experiments conducted with animals comply with the current Italian laws. The project was carried out in the framework of the MarBEF Network of Excellence ‘Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning’, which is funded by the Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems Programme of the European Communities Framework Programme (contract GOCE-CT-2003-505446). This publication is contribution MPS-09013 of MarBEF.
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