Food quality dominates the impact of food quantity on Daphnia life history: possible implications for re-oligotrophication

Sarpe, D., de Senerpont Domis, L. N., Declerck, S. A., Van Donk, E., & Ibelings, B. W. (2014). Food quality dominates the impact of food quantity on Daphnia life history: possible implications for re-oligotrophication. Inland Waters, 4.

The elemental composition of phytoplankton is highly variable compared to the relatively narrow stoichiometry of zooplankton grazers. Using a full factorial design, we tested the effects of alterations in algal elemental composition (i.e., food quality) combined with food quantity on the life history of a Daphnia galeata clone from Lake IJsselmeer. Lower food quality reduced survival, growth, and reproduction. Food quantity became important at high food quality only. The strong effect of food quality indicates the potential for a stoichiometric bottleneck in Lake IJsselmeer, resulting in less high quality food for higher trophic levels as a result of re-oligotrophication.