MEPS 376:143-151 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07817

Eating your competitor: functional triangle between turbulence, copepod escape behavior and predation from mussels

Anders Jonsson, Torkel Gissel Nielsen*, Ivan Hrubenja, Marie Maar, Jens Kjerulf Petersen

National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Marine Ecology, University of Aarhus, Frederiksborgvej 399,
4000 Roskilde, Denmark
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Clearance on different stages of the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa by blue mussels Mytilus edulis was measured at different turbulence intensities. Turbulence enhanced consumption of all stages of the calanoid copepod A. tonsa by the benthic suspension feeder M. edulis, although with significant ontogenetic differences. Clearance on eggs increased significantly with turbulence; without turbulence, eggs sank to the bottom of the experimental cylinder and became unavailable to the mussels. In general, adult copepods escaped a filtrating mussel better than nauplii and copepodites. Experiments showed that the presence of copepodites and adult copepods reduced mussel clearance rate. The present study documents the interaction between turbulence and mussel predation on copepods and illustrates the potential of benthic suspension feeders in shaping the pelagic food web.


KEY WORDS: Turbulence · Benthic–pelagic coupling · Copepod escape response · Copepod mortality


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Cite this article as: Jonsson A, Nielsen TG, Hrubenja I, Maar M, Petersen JK (2009) Eating your competitor: functional triangle between turbulence, copepod escape behavior and predation from mussels. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 376:143-151. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07817

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