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Volume 8 (2008), Pages 1219-1227
Research Article

Effects of Temperature, Salinity, pH, and Light on Filtering and Grazing Rates of a Calanoid Copepod (Schmackeria dubia)

Department of Aquaculture, Fishery College, Guangdong Ocean University, 40 East Jiefang Road, Xiashan, Zhanjiang, Guangdong 524025, China

Received 25 August 2008; Revised 17 November 2008; Accepted 20 November 2008

Academic Editor: Chunyan Li

Copyright © 2008 Changling Li et al.


Calanoid copepods are key components of the marine food web and the food sources of many larval fishes and planktivores, and grazers of phytoplankton. Understanding the ranges of major environmental variables suitable for their growth is essential to maintain the balance between trophic links and resources protection. In this study, the effects of temperature, salinity, pH, and light intensity on the filtering and grazing rates of a herbivorous copepod (Schmackeria dubia) were conducted in several control experiments. Our results indicated that experimental animals grazed normally at water temperatures between 15 and 35°C. The filtering and grazing rates increased by onefold at water temperatures from 15 to 25°C, with a peak at around 30°C. S. dubia fed normally at salinity ranging from 20 to 30 ppt, with significantly low filtering and grazing rates at salinity below 15 ppt and above 35 ppt. The filtering and grazing rates increased as pH increased, peaked at approximately 8.5, and then decreased substantially. Light intensity also displayed an important impact on the filtering and grazing rates. Filtering and grazing rates were high when light intensity was greater than 20 and less than 200 µmol m-2 s-1. S. dubia nearly stopped feeding at low light intensity (less than 20 µmol m-2 s-1).