1. Herbivorous zooplankton face considerable temporal and spatial variation in food quality, to which they respond by adapting their life histories. Zooplankton may even take up mineral nutrients directly, and use these to counter the effects of algal nutrient limitation (mineral compensation). This study examined the life history of the rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus fed phosphorus-, and nitrogen-limited Scenedesmus obliquus (Chlorophyta), and investigated whether B. calyciflorus was capable of mineral compensation. 2. Both phosphorus- and nitrogen-limited algae gave similar life history responses: somatic growth and reproduction were reduced, whereas lifespan remained unaffected. 3. No evidence was found for mineral compensation in B. calyciflorus in relation to detrimental life history effects, so mineral compensation does not seem to be relevant for this species under field conditions. 4. The similarity in life history responses of B. calyciflorus and the low levels of -3 PUFAs in both phosphorus- and nitrogen-depleted algae suggest that -3 PUFAs were limiting to B. calyciflorus, although other (bio)chemicals or mineral nutrients may also have been important. 5. No trade-off was observed between life span and reproduction during algal nutrient limitation. Reduced population growth rates of B. calyciflorus were caused by shorter reproductive periods. [KEYWORDS: food quality growth reproduction Scenedesmus obliquus stoichiometry]
Original languageEnglish
JournalFreshwater Biology
Journal publication date2004

ID: 312534