TRIOPS INTERACTIONS: DRIVERS AND FEEDBACKS IN PLAYA LAKE COMMUNITIES
Triops (tadpole shrimp: Crustacea: Notostraca) play an important role in shaping ephemeral pond community structures, which is illustrated by their predatory behavior and their habitat-shaping bioturbation behavior. The physiologies and population dynamics of Triops vary greatly through the course of each hydroperiod and may be influenced by competitive and environmental pressures within the ephemeral pond community. In our study, we examined what drives Triops diet shifts, how Triops shape the invertebrate community, and how the invertebrate community feeds back to impact Triops populations. We used laboratory microcosms to sample invertebrate communities emerging from soil collected from several dry playa lakes. The size, fecundity, and body condition of Triops were measured at the end of the two-week hydroperiod. Our results indicate that Triops size and egg production have the potential to increase with higher temperatures and longer daylengths. Triops were smaller when Triops densities and fairy shrimp densities were higher. These results suggest that Triops growth and egg production is controlled by an interaction between intraspecific competition, interspecific competition with fairy shrimp, and environmental conditions.
Mitchell Van Dyke (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Brian O'Neill (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, email@example.com;