Stoichiometric regulation of carbon and phosphorus in P-deficient Daphnia magna

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-254
Journal / PublicationLimnology and Oceanography
Issue number1
Online published16 Jan 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


Daphnia magna were fed phosphorus-sufficient (+P) and P-deficient (2P) green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (carbon: phosphorus ratio of C:P = 90 and 930 in molar, respectively) for 5 d to produce different body C:P ratios. The dietary absorption as well as the elimination of body C and P were then quantified under contrasting dietary qualities (+P and -P). The -P animals fed with -P algae had a higher absorption efficiency (AE) of both C (46%) and P (52%) than the control (+P animals fed +P algae) and the recovery group (-P animals fed +P food). During the physiological efflux, the -P animals fed with +P diet eliminated their body C at the highest rate (0.41 d-1) and their body P at the lowest rate (0.10 d-1) among the three groups of animals. Mass-specific C loss rates through dissolved release, respiration, and molting increased significantly, and the mass-specific P loss through dissolved release, molting, and reproduction decreased in the -P animals compared with the +P animals, in agreement with the stoichiometric models. Consequently, the C:P ratio of dissolved release, molting, and reproduction all increased with the increase in P deficiency. The recovered Daphnia had medium values of AE, efflux rate constant, and mass-specific loss rates, indicating the reversibility of P limitation. Our study demonstrated that all the pathways (excretion, reproduction, molting, and respiration) may be involved in the stoichiometric regulation in Daphnia. © 2008, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.