Importance of fungi in the diet of Gammarus pulex and Asellus aquaticus I: feeding strategies

M. A.S. Graça, L. Maltby, P. Calow

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    114 Scopus citations


    The importance of fungi in the trophic biology of the freshwater detritivores Gammarus pulex and Asellus aquaticus was investigated. Inspection of leaves used in feeding trials indicated that whereas A. aquaticus scrapes at the leaf surface, G. pulex bites through the leaf material. Both species discriminated between fungal mycelia, fungally colonized and uncolonized leaf material but, although A. aquaticus selectively consumed fungal mycelia, G. pulex fed preferentially on leaf material. Fungi appear to be an important food source for A. aquaticus and selection of food material was positively correlated with fungal biomass. In contrast, for G. pulex, fungi appear to be more important as modifiers of leaf material. However, no significant correlations were found between food preference and any of the leaf modifications measured.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)139-144
    Number of pages6
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Feb 1 1993


    • Asellus aquaticus
    • Detritivores
    • Food choices
    • Gammarus pulex
    • Niche breadth
    • Trophic biology

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