Title: Size-selective dispersal of Daphnia resting eggs by backswimmers (Notonecta maculata)
Authors: Van de Meutter, Frank ×
Stoks, Robby
De Meester, Luc #
Issue Date: Oct-2008
Publisher: Royal soc
Series Title: Biology letters vol:4 issue:5 pages:494-496
Abstract: Freshwater zooplankton is increasingly used to study effects of dispersal on community and meta-community structure. Yet, it remains unclear how zooplankton disperses. Clearly, birds and wind play a significant role as zooplankton dispersal agents, but they may not always be the main vectors. This experimental study shows that a cosmopolitan aquatic insect, Notonecta, can be an important vector of cladoceran resting eggs (ephippia). Dispersing Notonecta frequently transported ephippia during flight, with a bias towards smaller ephippia in two species. A similar trend was present at the species level: Daphnia species with smaller ephippia were more often dispersed, suggesting that Notonecta could generate specific colonist communities. In addition, buoyancy appeared a critical trait, as non-floating ephippia of Daphnia magna were never dispersed. Our data suggest that Notonecta could be important dispersers of Daphnia, and that knowledge of dispersal dynamics of Notonecta may be used to predict Daphnia dispersal, colonization and resilience to disturbance.
ISSN: 1744-9561
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Section
Laboratory for Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (-)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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