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1. Selective grazing of adults and larvae of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) on phytoplankton and detritus from both laboratory cultures and natural seston was quantified using flow cytometry. 2. Mean clearance rate of adult zebra mussels was higher on a mixture of the green alga Scenedesmus and the cyanobacterium Microcystis than when Scenedesmus was offered as single food, suggesting selective feeding by the mussels. 3. Feeding on lake seston both adults and larvae showed a higher clearance rate on phytoplankton than on detritus particles, suggesting that zebra mussels select for phytoplankton. Furthermore, it was noted that adults preferred seston particles in the 0-1 and 30-100 m size ranges. 4. In our study, zebra mussels did not discriminate against cyanobacteria, and our results indicate that they may even ingest them preferentially
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-126
JournalFreshwater Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

ID: 127852