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Size-scaling of zooplankton foraging in Arctic charr

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Prey capture rate (number of prey s−1) and the mode of feeding of Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus were studied by performing foraging experiments with two sizes (1·1 and 1·8 mm) of Daphnia longispina prey. Arctic charr were particulate feeders at all densities tested. Adjusted for the effect of prey density, the capture rate showed a hump-shaped relationship with Arctic charr size for both sizes of D. longispina. Estimated attack rates (a) also tended to show a hump-shaped relationship with fish size. The estimated size-scaling exponent of the attack rate function, however, was relatively small, implying small changes in attack rate over fish sizes. Simultaneous estimations of a and handling time were used in combination with published data on fish metabolism and dry mass rations of prey to estimate maintenance resource density of prey as a function of Arctic charr mass. Maintenance resource densities increased monotonically with Arctic charr size, and rapidly as optimum fish size relative to attack rate on prey was passed.
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Keywords: Daphnia; attack rate; exploitative competition; handling time; maintenance resource density

Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2003-04-01

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