Original paper

Use of a mathematical model to study the role of maternal effects in population dynamics and diapause formation in Daphnia

Kazantseva, Tamara; Alekseev, Victor


An individual-based model of a population of Daphnia longispina, a common species of zooplankton of lakes and temporary water-bodies of the temperate zone of the Palearctic is described. The concept of this model is based upon an individual's potential for growth and reproduction and for the change from parthenogenesis to gamogenesis, which was controlled by the life conditions of three consecutive generations of Daphnia. This was achieved by simulating the effects of temperature, food conditions and photoperiod experienced by grandmothers and mothers on an individual's potential for growth and reproduction. The model was used to test hypotheses on the signifi cance of maternal transmission of information in population dynamics of Daphnia. The results supported several important conclusions, e.g.the corroboration of the importance of maternal effects for seasonal adaptations of crustaceans. The possibility of accumulation of maternal effects in successive generations apparently increases the resistance of the population to inter-annual fluctuations of environmental parameters. The model also confi rms that maternal effects along with intra-population polymorphism are a mechanism providing stability of biological systems on the species (population) level.


physiological individual-based modeldaphnia longispinamaternal effectsdiapause