ALBARIÑO Ricardo Javier
Feeding plasticity of two Plecopteran larvae in an Andean low order mountain stream
ALBARIÑO, R.; DÍAZ VILLANUEVA, V.
INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF HYDROBIOLOGY
Lugar: Weinheim; Año: 2006 vol. 91 p. 122 - 122
Feeding plasticity of the Andean plecopteran Klapopteryx kuscheli and Notoperla archiplatae larvae was assessed through a field experiment using enclosures. K. kuscheli has previously been described as a shredder and N. archiplatae as a scraper. Further information on gut contents from different populations supported those results. In the experiment, larvae of both species were exposed to contrasting food items: leaf litter and periphyton. Consumption, growth and the efficiency of food conversion were measured. K. kuscheli was able to feed on periphyton, though it did not grow. N. archiplatae failed to feed on leaf litter. While K. kuscheli might be considered a facultative shredder, N. archiplatae functions as a specialist scraper. The natural distribution and seasonal abundance in two small streams showed contrasting habitat use of both species. N. archiplatae inhabited high velocity runs and riffles underneath large substrates while K. kuscheli presented a higher habitat plasticity. Implications of those results for ecosystem function are discussed.