The influence of aquatic macrophytes on distribution and feeding habit of two Asplanchna species (A. priodonta and A. herrickii) in shallow wetlands, South Korea
We tested the hypothesis that the spatial distribution and diet composition of Asplanchna species might be affected by the presence of aquatic macrophytes in 33 wetlands in South Korea. We estimated the densities of Asplanchna and other rotifer and crustacean, together with environmental parameters, in both vegetated and open water zones, from May to June 2011. In the present study, two species of Asplanchna, A. priodonta and A. herrickii, were observed and significantly more abundant in open water zones lacking macrophytes. In particular, the density of A. priodonta was higher than that of A. herrickii, and the density of A. priodonta was strongly positively correlated with the area of open water. In addition, gut content analysis was used to determine their dietary preferences, with the finding that there was apparent differentiation in food source utilisation between the two Asplanchna species; A. priodonta consumed some protozoa, phytoplankton, and exclusively pelagic rotifer, while A. herrickii consumed primarily Euglena. In particular, Keratella and Polyarthra were most commonly consumed by A. priodonta in open water. Macrophytes represent a suitable habitat for epiphytic rotifer but not for pelagic rotifer; this characteristic drives pelagic rotifer such as Asplanchna towards open water and may be responsible for the significant negative correlation that we observed between macrophyte and Asplanchna densities.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Jong-Yun Choi, Kwang-Seuk Jeong, Geung-Hwan La, Kwang-Hyeon Chang, Gea-Jae Joo
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