Opportunist rotifers: colonising species of young ponds in Surrey, England
Two young ponds of known age were investigated and their populations of rotifers and other organisms compared. The earliest colonisers appeared after a few days and included the rotifers Keratella valga (Ehrb.) and Brachionus urceolaris Müller, the cladoceran Daphnia obtusa Kurz and cyclopoid copepods. The rotifers quickly produced males and resting eggs, as well as large numbers of parthenogenetic females. These herbivorous species were followed by an omnivorous Asplanchna species. These species continued to flourish in the ponds several years after digging, in spite of the presence of additional species, although their season of occurrence changed. The greater growth of macrophytes in one pond may account for the greater variety of species in this community.
Key wordsrotifers new ponds colonisers herbivores omnivores reproduction
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