Scientia Marina, Vol 67, No 3 (2003)

The effect of food on the respiration rates of Daphnia magna using a flow-through system

Claire Schmoker
Institut de Zoologie, Université de Liège, Belgium

Santiago Hernández-León
Biological Oceanography Laboratory, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain


Respiration rates and gut fluorescence of the cladoceran Daphnia magna were studied using a flow-through system. This open system has the advantage of introducing food or producing a starvation effect during the course of the experiment. Severe variations in respiratory rates were observed in relation to the presence or absence of food, indicating short-term variability. Organisms kept starved or at low food for a long period (15-20 h) responded to a sudden increase in food by increasing their respiration rates three- to four-fold in parallel with their gut content. A significant relationship between gut fluorescence and respiration rates was observed, suggesting that feeding and the related swimming activity were responsible for the observed metabolic variability.


zooplankton; metabolism; feeding

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