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Maternal effects in zooplankton consumers are not only mediated by direct but also by indirect effects of phosphorus limitation

Citation

Zhou, Libin; Declerck, Steven (2020), Maternal effects in zooplankton consumers are not only mediated by direct but also by indirect effects of phosphorus limitation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f4qrfj6sg

Abstract

Nutrient limitation of primary producers has repeatedly been shown to negatively affect consumers, directly through stoichiometric mismatch and indirectly via alterations in the producer’s biochemical quality or palatability. In this study, we assessed whether direct and indirect impacts of phosphorus-limitation on a planktonic consumer are transferred to the next generation via maternal effects and whether these effects reflect an anticipatory adaptive strategy. For this, we subjected cultures of the algivorous monogonont rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus to three food quality treatments, i.e. P-limited (LP), P-replete (HP) and P-enriched LP algae (i.e. algae with an LP-growth history but with molar C:P ratios equal to those of HP-algae).  After two generations, we subjected offspring of these cultures to each of the three food quality treatments and monitored life history traits. In addition, we tested starvation resistance. Our results showed very strong negative maternal effects of low P food on offspring performance. These negative effects prevailed irrespective of contemporary diets, suggesting transmissive and selfish maternal effects rather than anticipatory adaptive effects. The relative strength of direct and indirect maternal P-limitation effects varied among different traits. Adult body size was predominantly determined by direct effects of P-shortage in maternal as well as contemporary food (LP < LP+P and LP+P = HP). In contrast, whereas egg size was negatively affected by direct effects of P-limitation in the maternal diet, a contemporary diet of LP and LP+P algae resulted in larger eggs than HP algae. Animals born from such larger eggs showed no higher growth rates, but they were more resistant to starvation, likely as the result of higher maternal allocation of energy rich molecules to the eggs. The present study shows that maternal food conditions represent an important factor that should be taken into account in studies of stoichiometric mismatch between producers and consumers.

Usage Notes

1, Algae stoichiometry

Food: food quality (three different qualities, i.e. HP, LP+P, LP)

Rep: replicated measurements of each food quality (n=2)

Chem: chemostat number (n=5)

N ug: raw data of N content of measured algae for each chemostat (µg)

C ug: raw data of C content of measured algae for each chemostat (µg)

Filter volume: the volume of sample that has been measured (ml)

C umol: C content converted into the unit of µmol

P umol: P content converted into the unit of µmol

N umol: N content converted into the unit of µmol

C conc: C concentration of each measurement (µmol/L)

P conc: P concentration of each measurement (µmol/L)

N conc: N concentration of each measurement (µmol/L)

CP: algal C:P ratio of each measurement

CN: algal C:N ratio of each measurement

NP: algal N:P ratio of each measurement

 

2, Age at first egg production

Unit: experimental unit

Chemid_cont: chemostat replication (n=4) for each contemporary food quality

Chemo_mat: chemostat replication (n=4) for each maternal food quality

Food: contemporary food quality (n=3, i.e. HP, LP+P, LP)

Motherfood: Maternal food quality (n=3, i.e. HP, LP+P, LP)

Egg1: age at first egg production (hour)

 

3, Data of size related:

Unit: experimental unit

Chemid_cont: chemostat replication (n=4) for each contemporary food quality

Chemo_mat: chemostat replication (n=4) for each maternal food quality

Food: contemporary food quality (n=3, i.e. HP, LP+P, LP)

Motherfood: Maternal food quality (n=3, i.e. HP, LP+P, LP)

Body length: body length of each measured rotifer individual (µm)

Body width: body width of each measured rotifer individual (µm)

Egg length: egg length of each measured rotifer individual (µm)

Egg width: egg width of each measured rotifer individual (µm)

 

4, Data of somatic growth:

Unit: experimental unit

Chemid_cont: chemostat replication (n=4) for each contemporary food quality

Chemo_mat: chemostat replication (n=4) for each maternal food quality

Food: contemporary food quality (n=3, i.e. HP, LP+P, LP)

Motherfood: Maternal food quality (n=3, i.e. HP, LP+P, LP)

bl: body length of each measured rotifer individual (µm)

bw: body width of each measured rotifer individual (µm)

el: egg length of each measured rotifer individual (µm)

ew: egg width of each measured rotifer individual (µm)

age: age at first egg production (hour)

 

5, Data of starvation resistance:

Food: maternal food qualities (n=3, i.e. HP, LP+P, LP)

Repch: chemostat replicates (n=5)

Prep: individual replication (n=3) for each food chemostat

Starvation: survival hours for each experimental individual under deprivedconditions, reflecting starvation resistance (hour)