Differential palatability of leaf litter to four sympatric isopods in a Hong Kong forest

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • D. Dudgeon
  • H. H T Ma
  • P. K S Lam

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-403
Journal / PublicationOecologia
Volume84
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

The feeding behaviour of four sympatric isopods from a Hong Kong forest has been investigated. The study included two armadillids (Formosillo raffaelei and Orodillo maculatus) and two philosciids (Burmoniscus ocellatus and Burmoniscus sp.). When given a choice of eight types of litter, all isopod species showed significant dietary selection, and food preferences were similar. Berchemia racemosa (Rhamnaceae) was most readily consumed, followed by Celtis sinensis (Ulmaceac), while feeding rates on Cinnamomum camphora (Lauraceae) were low. The armadillids exhibited a narrower dietary spectrum than the philosciids. All isopods showed significant differences in consumption rates when each litter type was presented separately to them. Cinnamomum camphora was eaten the slowest, while Celtis sinensis and Berchemia racemosa were the top-ranked species. Although patterns of litter ranking based on percentage eaten or feeding rates were similar, all isopods ate more food when given a mixture of leaves than when presented with a single litter type. Assimilation rates were, in general, positively related to feeding rates. On this basis, it appears that assimilation may influence food preference. There were no clear relationships between food preference or feeding rates and ash, calcium, copper, soluble tannin or energy content of the litter. This finding may indicate the benefits of isopods maintaining a mixed diet, consuming certain litter species to meet their calcium or copper requirements and then switching to others so as to meet daily energy needs and to avoid excessive injection of tannins or plant allelochemicals. © 1990 Springer-Verlag.

Research Area(s)

  • Assimilation efficiency, Consumption rates, Feeding preference, Isopoda, Litter quality

Citation Format(s)

Differential palatability of leaf litter to four sympatric isopods in a Hong Kong forest. / Dudgeon, D.; Ma, H. H T; Lam, P. K S.

In: Oecologia, Vol. 84, No. 3, 10.1990, p. 398-403.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review