The properties of Daphnia carinata King as a grazer for use in biomanipulation trials were investigated. Mesocosm experiments suggested that in water from a lake where D. carinata was scarce, phytoplankton was nutrient-limited and the manipulated biomass of zooplankton had no effect on total chlorophyll a, whereas in water from a lake where D. carinata was dominant, nutrients were not limiting and total chlorophyll a was negatively correlated with the manipulated biomass of zooplankton. When offered lake phytoplankton in feeding trials, D. carinata consumed all items present, including colonies of cyanobacteria and long filaments of diatoms. In large outdoor tanks with natural plankton, the biovolume of prokaryotic ultraplankton (possible predecessors of cyanobacterial blooms) was consistently reduced in the presence of D. carinata. There was no evidence of an adverse effect of single-celled Microcystis aeruginosa containing the peptide toxin microcystin-LR on D. carinata grazing rates or survival. Different concentrations of microcystin-LR in solution covering the range of toxicities observed during M. aeruginosa blooms (5-500 nM) had no effect on D. carinata grazing. The suppression of phytoplankton biomass by D. carinata grazing is one of several possible mechanisms that might be considered for biomanipulation in Australia.
16 p. (p. 889-904)
Australian Journal of marine and freshwater research, 45(5): 889-904