Influence of cyanobacterial diet on Asplanchna predation risk in Brachionus calyciflorus
Asplanchna sylvestrii does not discriminate between groups of Brachionus calyciflorus fed either the cymobacterixxm Anabaena flos-aquae or a control diet of Euglena gracilis. We based our analysis on the observed probabilities of attack, capture and ingestion during encounters between predator and prey. While A. sylvestrii was very sensitive to brachionid size, we found no significant affects of prey diet on predatory behavior. Thus, cyanobacterial diet did not influence the short-term predation risk of B. calyciflorus exposed to an effective predator. On the other hand, matched cohorts of A. sylvestrii fed B. calyciflorus cultured on the cyanobacterium reproduced more slowly than those fed the same prey cultured on the control food. With prolonged sympatry, therefore, the long-term risk of Asplanchna predation may be reduced for Brachionus by the latter’s consumption of cyanobacteria.
Key wordsAnabaena Asplanchna Brachionus rotifer cyanobacteria feeding behavior predator-prey interaction
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