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Journal Article

Diapause of Cyclops vicinus (Uljanin) in Lake Søbygård: indication of a risk-spreading strategy


Santer,  Barbara
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Santer, B., & Hansen, A.-M. (2006). Diapause of Cyclops vicinus (Uljanin) in Lake Søbygård: indication of a risk-spreading strategy. Hydrobiologia, 560(1), 217-226. doi:10.1007/s10750-005-1067-7.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D8BD-7
Cyclops vicinus is reported to enter summer diapause triggered by day length in order to survive food scarcity and fish predation. Development ceases and the fourth or fifth copepodid stages persist in the sediment for several weeks. In Lake Søbygård, however, a small eutrophic lake in Denmark, C. vicinus is found in the sediment as well as in the open water throughout the year. We performed laboratory experiments to elucidate the life cycle strategy of this population. In order to find the factors that induce diapause we tested the influence of food composition and light regime on the proportion of copepods entering diapause. Further we examined the diapause pattern of the offspring from diapausing and non-diapausing parents to see whether the co-occurrence of diapausing and non-diapausing copepods results from genetic differentiation within the population. In all experiments some of the copepods developed directly into adults, while others remained at the fourth or fifth copepodid stage and displayed diapause features. The proportion of copepods that developed directly into adults was influenced by food supply. Fewer individuals entered diapause when they received a mixed diet of algae and ciliates or algae, ciliates and seston compared with a pure algal diet. The response to light was different than described in literature: about 30% of the copepods entered diapause under dark conditions, and the diapause frequency was not higher when copepods had been exposed to continuous light. The offspring from diapausing parents showed no higher tendency to enter diapause than the offspring of non-diapausing parents, indicating no genetic differentiation. We conclude that diapause in C. vicinus represents a risk-spreading strategy, modified by food. The simultaneous production of diapausing and non-diapausing offspring ensures survival under harsh conditions; the influence of the food supply on the proportion of individuals entering diapause may adjust the population to the actual environmental condition. This flexible life cycle strategy might contribute to the exclusive dominance of C. vicinus in Lake Søbygård.