Models incorporating the energetics of individual daphnids (Cladocera) have been developed to predict the effect of environmental variables, particularly food availability, on population dynamics. One of them, that of Kooijman (1986), assumes that all assimilated energy enters a storage compartment prior to use in production and metabolism, and that under starvation the stores are used to support maintenance, reproduction and somatic growth, in that order of priority. This predicts that, under starvation, reproduction and growth will continue for a time, and that after they cease death will be immediate. Another model, that of McCauley et al. (1990), assumes that assimilated energy is used directly for maintenance and production, and that stores are accumulated to support maintenance metabolism under starvation. This predicts that growth and reproduction should cease immediately upon starvation and that death will not be immediate. We have carried out laboratory experiments, manipulating starvation time, on Daphnia magna to distinguish between these two models. The results support features of both models in that reproduction, but not growth, ceases upon starvation. We therefore developed a third model in which both maintenance and growth are supported from stores under starvation, with maintenance taking priority over growth under these conditions.
- Energy allocation