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Title: Behavior is a major determinant of predation risk in zooplankton
Authors: Almeda, Rodrigo 
van Someren Gréve H
Kiørboe T
UNESCO Clasification: 251001 Oceanografía biológica
Keywords: Copepods
Motile behavior
Predation risk
Trait-based approach
Issue Date: 2017
Journal: Ecosphere 
Abstract: Zooplankton exhibit different small-scale motile behaviors related to feeding and mating activ-ities. These different motile behaviors may result in different levels of predation risk, which may partiallydetermine the structure of planktonic communities. Here, we experimentally determined predation mortal-ity associated with (1) feeding activity (ambush feeders vs. feeding-current vs. cruising feeders) and (2)mate-finding behavior (males vs. females). The copepods Oithona nana, O. davisae (ambush feeders), Temoralongicornis (feeding-current feeder), and Centropages hamatus (cruising feeder) were used as prey for differ-ent predatory copepods. Copepods with “active” feeding behaviors (feeding-current and cruising feeders)showed significantly higher mortality from predation (~2–8 times) than similarly sized copepods with lowmotility feeding behavior (ambush feeders). Copepod males, which have a more active motile behaviorthan females (mate-seeking behavior), suffered a higher predation mortality than females in most of theexperiments. However, the predation risk for mate-searching behavior in copepods varied depending onfeeding behavior with ambush feeders consistently having the greatest difference in predation mortalitybetween genders (~4 times higher for males than for females). This gender-specific predation pressuremay partially explain field observations of female-biased sex ratios in ambush feeding copepods (e.g.,Oithonidae). Overall, our results demonstrate that small-scale motile behavior is a key trait in zooplanktonthat significantly affects predation risk and therefore is a main determinant of distribution and compositionof zooplankton communities in the ocean.
ISSN: 2150-8925
DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1668
Source: Ecosphere [EISSN 2150-8925], v. 8(2), e01668
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