Effects of UV-B irradiated algae on zooplankton grazing

Research paper by Hendrika J. De Lange, Miquel Lürling

Indexed on: 01 Jan '03Published on: 01 Jan '03Published in: Hydrobiologia


We tested the effects of UV-B stressed algae on grazing rates of zooplankton. Four algal species (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Cryptomonas sp., Scenedesmus obliquus and Microcystis aeruginosa) were used as food and fed to three zooplankton species (Daphnia galeata, Bosmina longirostris and Brachionus calyciflorus), representing different taxonomic groups. The phytoplankton species were cultured under PAR conditions, and under PAR supplemented with UV-B radiation at two intensities (0.3 W m−2 and 0.7 W m−2, 6 hours per day). Ingestion and incorporation experiments were performed at two food levels (0.1 and 1.0 mg C l−1) using radiotracer techniques. The effect of food concentration on ingestion and incorporation rate was significant for all three zooplankton species, but the effect of UV-B radiation was more complex. The reactions of the zooplankton species to UV-B stressed algae were different. UV-B stressed algae did not affect Daphnia grazing rates. For Bosmina the rates increased when feeding on UV-B stressed Microcystis and decreased when feeding on UV-B stressed Chlamydomonas, compared with non-stressed algae. Brachionus grazing rates were increased when feeding on UV-B stressed Cryptomonas and UV-B stressed Scenedesmus, and decreased when feeding on UV-B stressed Microcystis, compared with non-stressed algae. These results suggest that on a short time scale UV-B radiation may result in increased grazing rates of zooplankton, but also in decreased grazing rates. Long term effects of UV-B radiation on phytoplankton and zooplankton communities are therefore difficult to predict.