We tested the effect of different algal (Chlorella vulgaris) levels and inoculation densities on the outcome of competition between the rotifers Euchlanis dilatata and Brachionus patulus. The experiment was performed in 36 transparent jars, each with 20 ml of a test medium. We used three Chlorella levels: 0.75 × 106, 1.5 × 106, and 3.0 × 106 cells/ml. For each algal level, we used five different ratios of initial inoculation density. The population growth experiments were terminated after 19 days. Regardless of inoculation densities, an increase in food level resulted in an increased population abundance of both rotifer species. Regardless of food concentration,E. dilatatawas able to outcompete B. patulus at all inoculation densities when grown together. However, when Chlorella was offered in low concentration and there was a higher ratio of Brachionus to Euchlanis at the onset of the experiment, both rotifer species coexisted in more or less equal densities until the end of the experiments. When the food level was enhanced, E. dilatata totally eliminated B. patulus. The rate of population growth ranged from 0.002 to 0.578 for B. patulus and from 0.006 to 0.447 for E. dilatata. The results are discussed with respect to the factors influencing the outcome of competition between species.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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