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Photo-dependent population dynamics of Stentor coeruleus and its consumption of Colpidium striatum

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The predatory protozoan Stentor coeruleus Ehrenberg, 1830 is known to show photosensitivity and photodispersion, avoiding regions of high light intensity as an antipredation strategy. This physiological and behavioral response to light likely has demographic consequences. We manipulated light intensity to determine population responses of S. coeruleus and the resulting effects on its prey Colpidium striatum Stokes, 1886. We show that S. coeruleus maintained the highest population density under ambient light levels and low densities under both high and no light treatments. The results from the no light treatment were surprising because little work has been done on possible important behavioral and physiological processes cued by light. These results add power to the use of S. coeruleus as a model predator system to test ecological dynamics and processes associated with predation.

Le protozoaire prédateur Stentor coeruleus Ehrenberg, 1830 est connu pour sa photosensibilité et sa photodispersion; il évite les régions de forte intensité lumineuse par stratégie anti-prédatrice. Cette réaction physiologique et comportementale à la lumière a vraisemblablement des conséquences démographiques. Nous avons manipulé l’intensité lumineuse pour déterminer les réactions démographiques chez S.coeruleus et les effets qui en découlent chez sa proie Colpidium striatum Stokes, 1886. Nous montrons que S. coeruleus maintient une densité maximale de population aux niveaux ambiants de lumière et des densités faibles dans des conditions de lumière élevée et d’absence de lumière. Les résultats obtenus en l’absence de lumière sont surprenants, car il y a eu peu de travail sur les processus comportementaux et physiologiques importants possibles qui dépendent des signaux lumineux. Ces résultats confirment la valeur de l’utilisation de S. coeruleus comme système modèle de prédateur dans le but de vérifier des dynamiques écologiques et des processus associés à la prédation.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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