Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Mike Lameier, University of South Carolina

Class Year: 

Project Title: 

Grazing Preferences of Calanoid Copepod Acartia tonsa on Naupllii and Phytoplankton


Grazing preferences for controlled environment of the Calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa under a normal and an enriched nauplii concentration were determined using ambient Choptank River water. The sampling was done on two separate days in the MEERC lab at Horn Point. Two sets of tanks were sampled, 3 control and 3 nutrient tanks. Samples from the tanks were split into 12 1-L bottles, 6 containing copepods (experimental bottles) and 6 containing none (control bottles). Also, bottles 3,4,7,8,11 and 12 contained a 3x the normal enriched nauplii concentration. The results showed that when more nauplii were available, more nauplii and less phytoplankton were ingested. Copepods may switch their grazing preferences during changing environmental conditions and to regulate the population density of their environment.