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Effects on larval crabs of exposure to algal toxin via ingestion of heterotrophic prey
Garcia, R.; Sulkin, S.; Lopez, M. (2011). Effects on larval crabs of exposure to algal toxin via ingestion of heterotrophic prey. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(2): 451-460.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Garcia, R.
  • Sulkin, S.
  • Lopez, M.

    We tested whether ingesting toxic algae by heterotrophic prey affected their nutritional value to crab larval predators, using toxic algal strains that are either ingested directly by larval crabs or rejected by them. Ingestion of toxic strains of the dinoflagellates Alexandrium andersoni and A. fundyense by the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis was confirmed. Rotifers having ingested either algal type for five days were fed to freshly hatched larvae of three crab species, with larval survival and stage durations determined. For both algal/rotifer treatments in all three crab species, larvae fed algae directly died during the first zoeal stage, while those fed rotifers that had been fed either algal strain survived to the experiment’s end (zoeal stage 3). Survival was lower, and stage duration longer, for larvae fed rotifers cultured on toxic algae when compared to those fed non-toxic algae. The role of toxic algae in the planktonic food web may be influenced by its direct or indirect ingestion by larval crabs.

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