Local adaptation of Daphnia pulicaria to toxic cyanobacteria

Sarnelle, Orlando, Alan E. Wilson

Limnol. Oceanogr., 50(5), 2005, 1565-1570 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2005.50.5.1565

ABSTRACT: We quantified within-species variation in the tolerance of the large, lake-dwelling daphnid, Daphnia pulicaria, to toxic cyanobacteria in the diet. Juvenile growth rates on diets consisting of 100% Ankistrodesmus falcatus (a nutritious green alga) or 100% Microcystis aeruginosa (toxic) were compared for D. pulicaria clones isolated from lakes expected to have low and high levels of bloom-forming cyanobacteria during summer. Growth rates of clones isolated from high-nutrient lakes (range of total phosphorus, 31-235 µg L-1) were higher, and showed less relative inhibition, on the cyanobacterial diet compared to clones isolated from low-nutrient lakes (range of total phosphorus, 9-13 µg L-1). Our results suggest that D. pulicaria populations exposed to high cyanobacterial levels over long periods of time can adapt to being more tolerant of toxic cyanobacteria in the diet.

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