A zooplankton community was established in outdoor experimental ponds, into which a vertebrate predator (topmouth gudgeon: Pseudorasbora parva ) and/or an invertebrate predator (phantom midge larva: Chaoborus flavicans ) were introduced and their predation effects on the zooplankton community structure were evaluated. In the ponds which had Chaoborus but not fish, small- and medium-sized cladocerans and calanoid copepods were eliminated while rotifers became abundant. A large-sized cladoceran Daphnia longispina , whose juveniles had high helmets and long tailspines as anti-predator devices, escaped from Chaoborus predation and increased. In the ponds which had fish but not Chaoborus , the large-sized Daphnia was selectively predated by the fish while small-and medium-sized cladocerans and calanoid copepods predominated. In the ponds containing both Chaoborus and fish, the fish reduced the late instar larvae (III and IV) of Chaoborus but increased the early instar larvae (I and II). Small- and large-sized cladocerans were scarcely found. The former might have been eliminated by predation of the early instar larvae of Chaoborus , while the latter was probably predated by fish. Consequently, the medium-sized cladocerans, which may have succeeded in escaping from both types of predator, appeared abundantly. The results suggest that various combinations of vertebrate and invertebrate predators are able to drive various kinds of zooplankton community structure.
Oecologia – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 1989
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