Food availability and egg production in Acartia tonsa.
Hi my name is Tracy Harvey and I am a senior at UW-Milwaukee studying Conservation and Environmental science. I am working in Dr. Buskey’s lab this summer, investigating the potential relationship between food availability and egg production of copepods, specifically Acartia tonsa. This is important because many people think that copepods are predator limited and not food limited. It has always been thought that there is more than enough food for zooplankton. The Texas estuaries are very productive so this is a good location to investigate this idea. I will keep all treatments throughout my experiment at the same temperature. Group A will consist of natural ambient gulf water and Group B will consist of ambient gulf water enriched with Thalassiosira and H. Pygmae. All of the copepods that will be used in the experiment will be caught from five off shore field stations every two weeks, and kept separate throughout the experiment. They will be left to adjust to the transport and relocation over night and then incubated in the appropriate water for 24 hours the next day. After the incubation the number of eggs will be counted from the female copepods in each group. The experiment will be run four times over the ten weeks (samples taken from the field stations every two weeks). At the end of the ten weeks we will be able to see if food availability has a significant correlation with A. tonsa egg production.