Can we use laboratory-reared copepods for experiments? A comparison of feeding behaviour and reproduction between a field and a laboratory population of Acartia tonsa

Peter Tiselius, Benni Hansen, Per Jonsson, Thomas Kiørboe, Torkel Gissel Nielsen, Sergey Piontkovski, Enric Saiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)


Motility patterns and egg production were investigated in two populations of Acartia tonsa, field animals from the Öresund and laboratory animals from a 12-year-old (≈ 120 generations) culture. When observed in aquaria with a layer of Thalassiosira weissffogii in the middle, laboratory animals displayed weak aggregation behaviour, while field animals did not aggregate at all. Both populations made longer and more frequent feeding bouts inside the patch. Egg production measurements were in accordance with the behaviour of the laboratory population if no diel feeding rhythm was assumed. The field population produced fewer eggs than predicted from activity measurements, probably due to a diel feeding rhythm. It is concluded that laboratory reared A. tonsa can be used for experiments involving behaviour, but that the possible loss of diel rhythms should be a concern. Both populations differed considerably from field-caught A. tonsa from the eastern United States, where both behaviour and egg production changed consistently and in accordance with a strong aggregation in food patches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-376
Number of pages8
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1995



  • behaviour
  • copepod
  • selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this