Insights into the importance of nematode prey for chironomid larvae

Ptatscheck C, Kreuzinger B, Putzki H, Traunspurger W (2015)
Hydrobiologia 757(1): 143-153.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
The potential predatory ability of Chironomus riparius, well-known detritus-feeding chironomid larvae, on nematodes was investigated in a series of laboratory experiments. We analyzed the consumption rate (i) for different prey densities of adult and juvenile Caenorhabditis elegans (25-1200 and 25-2400 prey individuals, respectively), (ii) for different substrates (detritus, sand, and gravel), and (iii) with a natural nematode community as prey. This is the first study to demonstrate a clear predator-prey interaction between chironomids and nematodes. The number of ingested C. elegans increased with increasing prey density. Within 4 h, C. riparius consumed up to 0.77 mg of nematode prey (557 adult individuals), which corresponded to 92.5% of the chironomid's biomass, and as many as 763 juvenile C. elegans (0.0226 mg; 3.2% of chironomid biomass). Significantly more nematodes were devoured in fine sediment (sand and detritus) than in gravel. Within a natural assemblage, C. riparius consumed 41% of the total nematodes, preferentially those 1- to 2-mm in length; thus, for example, only the percentage of the most common species, Trischistoma monohystera, was significantly reduced. Gut analyses of the chironomids confirmed the ingestion of nematodes. In general, this study provides a fundamental approach to our understanding of the benthic food web.
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Ptatscheck C, Kreuzinger B, Putzki H, Traunspurger W. Insights into the importance of nematode prey for chironomid larvae. Hydrobiologia. 2015;757(1):143-153.
Ptatscheck, C., Kreuzinger, B., Putzki, H., & Traunspurger, W. (2015). Insights into the importance of nematode prey for chironomid larvae. Hydrobiologia, 757(1), 143-153.
Ptatscheck, C., Kreuzinger, B., Putzki, H., and Traunspurger, W. (2015). Insights into the importance of nematode prey for chironomid larvae. Hydrobiologia 757, 143-153.
Ptatscheck, C., et al., 2015. Insights into the importance of nematode prey for chironomid larvae. Hydrobiologia, 757(1), p 143-153.
C. Ptatscheck, et al., “Insights into the importance of nematode prey for chironomid larvae”, Hydrobiologia, vol. 757, 2015, pp. 143-153.
Ptatscheck, C., Kreuzinger, B., Putzki, H., Traunspurger, W.: Insights into the importance of nematode prey for chironomid larvae. Hydrobiologia. 757, 143-153 (2015).
Ptatscheck, Christoph, Kreuzinger, Bianca, Putzki, H., and Traunspurger, Walter. “Insights into the importance of nematode prey for chironomid larvae”. Hydrobiologia 757.1 (2015): 143-153.
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