Original paper

Feeding patterns of migratory and non-migratory fourth instar larvae of two coexisting Chaoborus species in an acidic and metal contaminated lake: Importance of prey ingestion rate in predicting metal bioaccumulation

Croteau, Marie-Noële Hare; Marcoux, Pierre


We studied diel variations in the feeding habits and migratory behaviors of two coexisting Chaoborus species in an acidic and metal contaminated lake (Lake Turcotte, QC, Canada). We found that although the zooplankton community was dominated by rotifers, both Chaoborus species fed mostly on chironomids and crustaceans despite the relatively low abundance of these prey types in the lake plankton. Chaoborus americanus larvae fed on those of Chaoborus punctipennis, but not vice versa. The non-migratory species (C. americanus) fed throughout the day and night whereas the migratory species (C. punctipennis) fed only at night while in the water column. The larger-bodied C. americanus consumed more prey and had a more diverse diet than did the smaller-bodied C. punctipennis. Differences in feeding habits between the Chaoborus species inhabiting Lake Turcotte (prey biomass, prey types) likely explain in part their ability to coexist. Attempts to predict Cd in the Chaoborus species using our measurements of Cd in their prey and their prey ingestion rates met with mixed success; although we correctly predicted higher Cd concentrations for C. americanus larvae than for C. punctipennis larvae, we under-predicted absolute Cd concentrations. We suggest that studies such as ours that are based on analyses of gut contents of larvae collected at intervals of 4h or longer likely underestimate prey ingestion rates.


bioaccumulationdiel vertical migrationfeeding habitscoexistencegutcontentscadmium