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Cercopagis pengoi and Mysis spp. alter their feeding rate and prey selection under predation risk of herring (Clupea harengus membras)
Lehtiniemi, M.; Lindén, E. (2006). Cercopagis pengoi and Mysis spp. alter their feeding rate and prey selection under predation risk of herring (Clupea harengus membras). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 149(4): 845-854.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162; e-ISSN 1432-1793, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Lehtiniemi, M.
  • Lindén, E.

    The anti-predator behaviour of Baltic crustacean planktivores was studied in feeding experiments under predation pressure of herring. The experiments were conducted with pelagic mysids: Mysis mixta and Mysis relicta, and with Cercopagis pengoi, a non-indigenous cladoceran, which invaded the Baltic Sea in 1992. Zooplankton was offered as prey. Two kinds of experiments were performed in the absence and presence of chemical predator cues: (1) two-prey experiments with prey, which have poor or good escape responses and all three planktivores and (2) natural prey experiments with mysids in natural zooplankton assemblages. The results showed that all three species reacted to the chemical cue of herring by decreasing their feeding rate and altering prey selection. C. pengoi selected easily captured prey (rotifers) in two-prey experiments under predation risk while selection for any prey was evident in mysids in natural prey experiments only in the absence of predator cues. This indicates that planktivores have different anti-predator strategies, which are modified by their own prey capture abilities. C. pengoi was a very efficient predator on small prey with size-specific prey consumption rate 5 to 18 times the rate of mysids. Results show that the studied planktivores are capable of adjusting their feeding behaviour to decrease their conspicuousness in order to increase survival under predation risk. Further, results support the view that C. pengoi has adapted well to the Baltic ecosystem, sharing food niche with pelagic mysids and most probably having a strong influence on the whole pelagic food web.

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