Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 444808
Title A Device to Study the Behavioral Responses of Zooplankton to Food Quality and Quantity
Author(s) Bukovinszky, T.; Helmsing, N.R.; Grau, R.A.; Bakker, E.S.; Vos, M.; UIttenhout, H.; Verschoor, A.M.
Source Journal of Insect Behavior 26 (2013)4. - ISSN 0892-7553 - p. 453 - 465.
Department(s) Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) vertical migration - time allocation - daphnia-pulex - fresh-water - habitat - temperature - gradients - selection - culture - algae
Abstract In order to explore the behavioral mechanisms underlying aggregation of foragers on local resource patches, it is necessary to manipulate the location, quality and quantity of food patches. This requires careful control over the conditions in the foraging arena, which may be a challenging task in the case of aquatic resource-consumer systems, like that of freshwater zooplankton feeding on suspended algal cells. We present an experimental tool designed to aid behavioral ecologists in exploring the consequences of resource characteristics for zooplankton aggregation behavior and movement decisions under conditions where the boundaries and characteristics (quantity and quality) of food patches can be standardized. The aggregation behavior of Daphnia magna and D. galeata x hyalina was tested in relation to i) the presence or absence of food or ii) food quality, where algae of high or low nutrient (phosphorus) content were offered in distinct patches. Individuals of both Daphnia species chose tubes containing food patches and D. galeata x hyalina also showed a preference towards food patches of high nutrient content. We discuss how the described equipment complements other behavioral approaches providing a useful tool to understand animal foraging decisions in environments with heterogeneous resource distributions.
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