MEPS 558:15-20 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11877

Foraging mode and prey size spectra of suspension‑feeding copepods and other zooplankton

Thomas Kiørboe*

Centre for Ocean Life, DTU Aqua, Kavalergården 6, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Prey size spectra of suspension-feeding zooplankton may be predicted from foraging mode and a mechanistic understanding of prey perception and capture. I examine this for suspension-feeding copepods where 2 foraging modes can be distinguished: ambush feeding and active (i.e. cruising and feeding-current) feeding. Prey perception mechanisms differ between the 2 foraging modes. I use simple arguments to predict that the ambush strategy targets larger prey and has a narrower prey size spectrum than the cruising and feeding-current feeding strategies. I compile data from the literature that confirm the prediction. I also make qualitative predictions of food size spectra in zooplankton with other prey perception mechanisms that accord with observations.


KEY WORDS: Prey perception mechanism · Prey capture mechanism · Pelagic tunicates · Heterotrophic flagellates · Dinoflagellates · Cladocerans


Full text in pdf format
Supplementary material 
Cite this article as: Kiørboe T (2016) Foraging mode and prey size spectra of suspension‑feeding copepods and other zooplankton. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 558:15-20. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11877

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -