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The Population Dynamics of Daphnia At Constant Food Supply: a Review, Re-Evaluation and Analysis of Experimental Series From the Literature

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Data on the population dynamics of five Daphnia species, viz. D. galeata mendotae, D. obtusa, D. pulicaria, D. pulex and D. magna, were collected from the literature. The experiments with constant food input were re-analysed for the oscillatory behaviour of the populations. Some populations appear to stabilize, whereas others continue to fluctuate. Some fluctuations are apparently caused by external factors. A decline to far below the average population size is always followed by a large population overshoot. Even populations that tend to stabilize do so by way of a series of damped oscillations. The oscillation period depends on, among other things, the Daphnia species, and increases with its size. Sometimes the same feeding regime leads to an equal or greater population size for a larger Daphnia species. This suggests that the chosen food species was not equally suitable for the two Daphnia species. No effect of crowding on the population size of Daphnia is found.

Affiliations: 1: TNO Division of Technology, for Society, Netherlands organization for applied scientific research, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 217, 2600 AE Delft, The Netherlands


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