New paper on behaviour-dependent predation risk in zooplankton

Tuesday 07 Feb 17


Rodrigo Almeda
Senior Researcher
DTU Aqua


Thomas Kiørboe
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 01
What is the cost in terms of predation risk of different feeding behaviours in zooplankton? What feeding strategies are more risky?  Are copepod males more susceptible to predation than females?

Zooplankton exhibit different small-scale motile behaviors related to feeding and mating activities. In this study, we experimentally quantify the influence of motile behavior on predation risk using planktonic copepods as model organisms. This is the first study that systematically examines behavior-dependent predation risk over the main feeding and mate-finding behaviors reported for zooplankton. Our results are of broad significance for understanding the role of zooplankton behavior in predation mortality and the feeding-predation and mating-predation trade-offs. Our empirical estimates of the predation risk associated with different motile behaviors in zooplankton help to quantify the gain over the risk associated to a specific behavior and to predict optimal zooplankton foraging strategies depending on the environmental conditions. Overall, our results demonstrate that small-scale motile behavior is a key trait in zooplankton that significantly affects predation risk and therefore is a main determinant of distribution and composition of zooplankton communities in the ocean.

Citation: Almeda, R., H. van Someren Gréve, and T. Kiørboe. 2017. Behavior is a major determinant of predation risk in zooplankton. Ecosphere 8(2):e01668. 10.1002/ecs2.1668

The paper can be read here.
28 MAY 2020