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Effects of prey trophic mode on the gross-growth efficiency of marine copepods: the case of mixoplankton

AuthorsTraboni, Claudia ; Calbet, Albert ; Saiz, Enric
Issue DateJul-2020
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationScientific Reports 10: 12259 (2020)
AbstractCopepod reproductive success largely depends on food quality, which also reflects the prey trophic mode. As such, modelling simulations postulate a trophic enhancement to higher trophic levels when mixotrophy is accounted in planktonic trophodynamics. Here, we tested whether photo-phagotrophic protists (mixoplankton) could enhance copepod gross-growth efficiency by nutrient upgrading mechanisms compared to obligate autotrophs and heterotrophs. To validate the hypothesis, we compared physiological rates of the copepod Paracartia grani under the three functional nutrition types. Ingestion and egg production rates varied depending on prey size and species, regardless of the diet. The gross-growth efficiency was variable and not significantly different across nutritional treatments, ranging from 3 to 25% in the mixoplanktonic diet compared to autotrophic (11–36%) and heterotrophic (8–38%) nutrition. Egg hatching and egestion rates were generally unaffected by diet. Overall, P. grani physiological rates did not differ under the tested nutrition types due to the large species-specific variation within trophic mode. However, when we focused on a single species, Karlodinium veneficum, tested as prey under contrasting trophic modes, the actively feeding dinoflagellate boosted the egestion rate and decreased the copepod gross-growth efficiency compared to the autotrophic ones, suggesting possible involvement of toxins in modulating trophodynamics other than stoichiometric constraints
Description14 page, 5 figures, 3 tables, supplementary information https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69174-w.-- It is a contribution of the Marine Zooplankton Ecology Group (2017 SGR 87)
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69174-w
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