Predation of freshwater jellyfish on Bosmina: the consequences for population dynamics, body size, and morphology
Invertebrate predators may cause strong changes in behaviour, life-history, and morphology of prey species. However, little is known about the influence of jellyfish on such characteristics of their prey. This study analyses the impacts of the freshwater jellyfish Craspedacusta sowerbii on life history and morphological defenses in a population of the cladoceran Bosmina longirostris. Length of mucro and antennule, sizedependent number of eggs, size at maturity, and size of juveniles, adults, and egg-carrying females were investigated during a 23 days experiment using medusae-enriched and control enclosures filled with natural plankton populations. Significant differences in parameters investigated were found not only between treatments, but also within treatments over time. Changes in Bosmina life-history parameters and morphology in controls were probably due to predation by cyclopoid copepods. The significant increase in the size of adults and egg-carrying females as well as the increase in mucro and antennule length in medusaeenriched enclosures are discussed as defense strategies against the freshwater jellyfish.
Key words: Craspedacusta, Hydrozoa, Cladocera, morphological defense, enclosure experiment
KeywordsBiomass Migration Phosphorus Chlorophyll Phytoplankton
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