Suggestions of biotic niche constraints from the distribution of Leptodora kindti

TitleSuggestions of biotic niche constraints from the distribution of Leptodora kindti
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsMcNaught S
JournalVerhandlungen der Internationale Vereinigung fur Theoretische und Angewandte Limnologie

One of the most common invertebrate predators in freshwater, pelagic systems is the crustacean, Leptodora kindti. This large (up to 18.0 mm), transparent animal inhabits lakes in North America, Europe and Asia and is present in the water column between May and November. ... Leptodora can be found in most types of north temperate lakes regardless of their physical or chemical characteristics. ... These studies contain useful primary information, but none includes a statistical analysis of the data which could reveal underlying patterns within the spatial distribution of Leptodora. It was my goal, then, to re-examine these data using rigorous statistical methods. In addition to discovering whether or not the distribution of Leptodora was non-random, I hoped to identify those abiotic and biotic variables associated with any underlying patterns. ... The patterns revealed in this study suggest that biological factors directly influence the distribution and abundance of the invertebrate predator, Leptodora kindti. Although the results of this study do not demonstrate cause and effect, they can be used as a starting point for further research. Controlled experiments are currently being conducted to assess the nature and strength of the direct interaction between Leptodora and C. americanus as well as the indirect interaction between Leptodora and planktivorous fish.