The effects of colonial ecomorphs of the green alga Scenedesmus acutus on growth of Daphnia cucullata and D. pulex were examined. In ecologically relevant densities (up to 200 animals l-1) the relatively small D. cucullata did not induce colony formation in Scenedesmus acutus, whereas the larger congener D. pulex significantly promoted colony formation. Both clearance rate and population growth rate (r) were significantly lower in D. cucullata when fed colonial Scenedesmus then when fed unicellular food. However, for D. pulex no effects of food type were observed. These results show that large Daphnia may influence its food in such a way that smaller congeners and competitors are negatively affected.
Lurling, M. F. L. L. W., & van Donk, E. (1996). Zooplankton induced unicell-colony transformation in Scenedesmus acutus and the effect on growth of herbivore Daphnia. Oecologia, 108(3), 432-437. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00333718