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Can cannibalism be advantageous in cyclopoids? A mathematical model

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Gabriel,  Wilfried
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Lampert,  Winfried
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Gabriel, W., & Lampert, W. (1985). Can cannibalism be advantageous in cyclopoids? A mathematical model. Verhandlungen Internationale Vereinigung für theoretische und angewandte Limnologie, 22, 3164-3168.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-3954-D
Abstract
Intrazooplankton predation by copepods is considered to greatly influence the species and size composition of a plankton Community (CONFER 1971; LANE 1978; BRANDL & FERNANDO 1981). Cyclopoid copepods often change their feeding habits during development. Nauplii and small copepodites are usually herbivorous, but become omnivorous or carnivorous as late copepodites and adults (GRAS 1971; GOPHEN 1977; LANDRY 1981). Cannibalism is frequently observed (FRYER 1957; MCQUEEN 1969; BRANDL & FERNANDO 1979) and may play an important role when cyclopoids are the dominant species or even appear as nearly a monoculture (BURGIS & WALKER 1972; JOHNSON & WALKER 1973). In the absence of alternative prey, carnivorous cyclopoids could utilize nanoplanktonic primary production by consuming their own herbivorous offspring. Thus, when combined with a shift from herbivory to carnivory during copepod development, cannibalism may be advantageous. We used a mathematical model to: (1) study the effect of cannibalism on population dynamics; and (2) assess the level of cannibalism tolerable without population extinction.