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On choice of substrate and habitat in brachionid rotifers

  • Birger Pejler
  • Bruno Bērziņš
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 52)

Abstract

Information on the distribution of 28 rotifers of the family Brachionidae from diverse waters in south and central Sweden was analyzed to reveal their relationships to substrate and habitat. Some brachionids are preferably planktic, others periphytic and/or benthic. Some non-planktic habitats are utilized more than others, but there is no evidence of a chemical attraction from any substrate. Instead, some substrates seem to be avoided, possibly depending on a poorer flora of periphytic algae. Besides substrate type, the following factors are found to be important for creating separate ecological niches in the brachionid family: temperature, oxygen content, trophic degree, chemical environment, food choice and sensitivity to prédation. It is possible to delineate separate ecological niches for all brachionid rotifers, implying that Hutchinson’s ideas about the ‘plankton paradox’ are contradicted. Some species are specialists, other are generalists, the latter being characterized by a great morphological variation. The species are adapted in different ways to their preferential habitats, as regards foot, egg-carrying, protrusions and other lorical structures etc. Longer spines, for instance, are generally found in more transparent water, being a supposed protection against visual predators.

Key words

rotifers Brachionidae ecology substrate habitat 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Birger Pejler
    • 1
  • Bruno Bērziņš
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of LimnologyUppsalaSweden

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