Measurement of ingestion rate of Hydrobia ulvae (Pennant) on intertidal epipelic microalgae: the effect of mud snail density

Abstract : The individual mean ingestion rate of Hydrobia ulvae was measured experimentally in controlled microcosms, in the dark to avoid primary production during measurement and at constant temperature. The experimental design was based on the addition of prelabelled epipelic microalgae to microcosms in a constant proportion with unlabelled diatoms, and in such a way that algal food availability was not a limiting factor within the range of tested densities (0.3 to 4.1 snails cm−2). Results show that the individual mean ingestion rate decreased significantly from 26.6±1.1 ng Chl a snail−1 h−1 to 22.4±1.0 ng Chl a snail−1 h−1 between 0.7 and 3 snails cm−2. We hypothesize that this sharp decrease (the threshold density was between 1.4 and 2.5 snails cm−2) may account for a density-dependent effect. We have tested this hypothesis by using a simple random walk model including basic behavioural processes such as a break in feeding activity when two individuals contact each other. The model represents quantitatively well the threshold effect, suggesting that behavioural processes have to be taken into account for estimating a global feeding activity of H. ulvae populations.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 6, 2018 - 11:07:25 AM
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Gérard F. Blanchard, Jean-Marc Guarini, Laurent Provot, Pierre Richard, Pierre-Guy Sauriau. Measurement of ingestion rate of Hydrobia ulvae (Pennant) on intertidal epipelic microalgae: the effect of mud snail density. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Elsevier, 2000, 255 (2), pp.247 - 260. 〈10.1016/S0022-0981(00)00292-6〉. 〈hal-01854024〉

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