Seston composition and the potential for Daphnia growth

H.J. de Lange, M.T. Arts

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16 Citations (Scopus)


A field survey was conducted to study the relationships amongst the composition of the seston, the nutritional value of the seston for herbivorous zooplankton (Daphnia), and selected water clarity parameters. Sixteen ponds in a wetland area and seven larger lakes, all located in south central Saskatchewan, Canada, were sampled for seston. The phytoplankton species were identified, and various biochemical seston variables were measured. A biotest using the zooplankter Daphnia magna, was employed to assess the nutritional value of the seston. The best seston variable to explain Daphnia growth was the phospholipid content (simple linear regression analysis: R^2_adj = 0.50). The water absorbance ratio A250/A365 was a good predictor of lipid content of the seston. Both the absorbance ratio A250/A365 and the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration were negatively correlated with Daphnia growth. We hypothesize that the penetration of visible and ultraviolet radiation is an important determinant of seston quality, especially the phospholipid content, and that this has important implications for determining ultimate growth rates of herbivorous zooplankton.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-398
JournalAquatic Ecology
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • seston
  • composition
  • nutritive value
  • zooplankton
  • growth
  • ultraviolet radiation
  • water quality


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