Daphnia pulex and D. mitsukuri are morphologically similar and distributed in small lowland Japanese lakes. Daphnia pulex in Japan reproduces by obligate parthenogenesis and is composed of four different lineages (JPN1–JPN4) with North American origins. Although this species is found throughout Japan, JPN1 has the largest distribution range, followed by JPN2. Daphnia mitsukuri is a putatively endemic species that is now rarely found in Japan. Since Daphnia share the same algal food, the difference in distribution ranges among the four asexual D. pulex lineages and D. mitsukuri may be caused by exploitative competition for algal food. To examine this possibility, we measured the threshold food concentration (TFC) at zero-net growth rate and the food concentration required for 50% of the individuals to survive (FC50). In addition, we examined the effects of temperature on the somatic growth rate (SGR) and the mortality rates of four asexual D. pulex lineages and D. mitsukuri. The experiments showed that TFC was lowest in D. pulex JPN1 and highest in D. mitsukuri, supporting the idea that the largest distribution range of JPN1 is due to its superiority in inter-lineage competition, and that the distribution area of D. mitsukuri is reduced through exploitative competition with D. pulex. However, although JPN2 was found in relatively large areas, it had higher TFC than JPN3 and JPN4, which appear in very limited areas. These results clearly showed that the difference in distribution ranges among D. pulex lineages are not necessarily determined by their competitive superiority alone.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics