Foraging mode and prey size spectra of suspension-feeding copepods and other zooplankton

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Abstract

Prey size spectra of suspension-feeding zooplankton may be predicted from foraging mode and a mechanistic understanding of prey perception and capture. I examine this for suspension-feeding copepods where 2 foraging modes can be distinguished: ambush feeding and active (i.e. cruising and feeding-current) feeding. Prey perception mechanisms differ between the 2 foraging modes. I use simple arguments to predict that the ambush strategy targets larger prey and has a narrower prey size spectrum than the cruising and feeding-current feeding strategies. I compile data from the literature that confirm the prediction. I also make qualitative predictions of food size spectra in zooplankton with other prey perception mechanisms that accord with observations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Volume558
Pages (from-to)15-20
ISSN1616-1599
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • ECOLOGY
  • MARINE
  • OCEANOGRAPHY
  • PLANKTON
  • SELECTIVITY
  • PERCEPTION
  • MECHANISMS
  • MORPHOLOGY
  • PATTERNS
  • CAPTURE
  • SIGNALS
  • GROWTH
  • RATES
  • Prey perception mechanism
  • Prey capture mechanism
  • Pelagic tunicates
  • Heterotrophic flagellates
  • Dinoflagellates
  • Cladocerans

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