Empty loricas and the dynamics of Kellicottia longispina in a subalpine, oligotrophic lake
The seasonal dynamics of Kellicottia longispina in Lake Tahoe and an isolated embayment of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay, were investigated for an 18-month period in 1977–79. Population birth and death rates were similar in the two systems, although productivity and Mysis relicta densities were higher in Emerald Bay. The timing of population changes was also similar. A major population increase in late winter 1978 was preceded by an increase in egg ratio; the subsequent spring decline of K. longispina was concurrent with decreased birth rates and increased death rates. Empty loricas of K. longispina were occasionally abundant in the plankton samples and seemed to result from K. longispina deaths when densities were high and when egg ratios were declining; it is possible that population senescence was responsible for the high densities of empty loricas observed. A potentially important predator, M. relicta, defecates K. longispina remains in compact fecal pellets; however, it is unlikely that the observed empty loricas resulted from Mysis-related deaths.
Keywordsrotifers Kellicottia longispina empty loricas Lake Tahoe Emerald Bay
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