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Contribution analysis of body mass dynamics in Daphnia

Polishchuk, L. and Vijverberg, J. (2005) Contribution analysis of body mass dynamics in Daphnia. Oecologia, 144, 268-277. ISSN 0029-8549.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-005-0072-x

Abstract

The concept of body mass dynamics can be viewed as part of life history theory, but its potential has remained largely untapped due to a lack of analytical methodology. We therefore propose a method, called contribution analysis, which enables us to decompose a change in body mass into contributions associated with variations in individual egg mass, clutch size, and standard somatic mass (somatic mass adjusted to body length). The advantage of contribution analysis is that various contributions are expressed in the same units (units of mass) and show the amount of resources committed to changes in the individual traits, while the traits themselves are measured in different units and thus incomparable on their own. The method is tuned to study zooplankton, and is applied to examine body mass dynamics in Daphnia galeata. We found that when recovering from a poor-resource environment just above the threshold food concentration, Daphnia primarily increase their standard somatic mass, that is, restore body condition. When the trophic environment improves further but remains below the incipient limiting level, resources are invested equally to enhance body condition and reproduction in terms of clutch size. Finally, when food is no longer a limiting factor, almost all resources are committed to increase clutch size. While individual egg mass also varies, it never attracts more resources than the shift in the most prioritized trait. We suggest that the significance of this shift in resource allocation priorities is to keep an adult female alive in a poor environment and thus to allow her to retain her reproductive potential for better conditions in the future. Contribution analysis of body mass dynamics may allow us to detect flexible allocation strategies in a changing natural environment. [KEYWORDS: Body condition ; Clutch size ; Life history ; Resource allocation ; Zooplankton]

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:11761
Deposited On:23 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:31 Mar 2014 10:27

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