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1. Baumgartner, Finn. What makes Elysia viridis tick? Fitness consequences of diet selection and kleptoplasty.

Degree: 2013, University of Gothenburg / Göteborgs Universitet

Understanding the mechanisms involved in resource use by an organism is pivotal to understanding its ecology. A conspecific population that as a whole demonstrates a generalist pattern of resource use may in fact consist of relatively specialized individuals. Elysia viridis, a sacoglossan opisthobranch mollusc, tends to demonstrate this type of sympatric variation in diet, although to differing extents depending on the ontogenetic stage. However, the mechanisms underlying this inter-individual variation are poorly understood. Utilizing the basic framework of optimal diet theory, this thesis investigated the prevalence of individual specialization and its effects on energy assimilation in E. viridis on different algal diets and the mechanisms that underpin or constrain diet selection. This was assessed through a combination of laboratory experiments addressing how E. viridis’ original algal host affected algal diet choice, handling efficiency, growth, and the retention of functional chloroplasts (kleptoplasty) in the lab and relating conclusions from these experiments to observations of abundance and size of the sea slug in the study area. Assessments of abundance and size distributions of E. viridis on different algal hosts demonstrated that the sea slug commonly colonized the co-occuring algal species Codium fragile, Cladophora rupestris, and Cladophora sericea in the field. Abundance was generally highest on Cladophora hosts compared to C. fragile hosts, and C. rupestris tended to accommodate larger individuals compared to the other hosts (paper I). In the lab E. viridis tended to select algal diets that had a similar morphology (filamentous septate vs. planar siphonaceous) to their original host, which related to increased handling efficiency through previous experience of feeding techniques required for different algal morphologies. This indicated that short-term diet selection was influenced by differences in feeding efficiency, suggesting E. viridis were specialised to feed on particular diets. However, diet selection did not correlate to the long-term fitness value of a diet, indicating that factors other than nutrition are important for host/diet selection in E. viridis. However, positive growth by E. viridis on all algal diets irrespective of their original algal host indicated that slugs were capable of effectively switching to non-host algae (paper II). Furthermore, E. viridis derived functional kleptoplasts from three different genera of algae (Chaetomorpha, Codium, and Cladophora), refuting claims that members of Cladophorales were unsuitable sources of functional kleptoplasts to E. viridis (paper III). However, kleptoplast functionality varied within the genus Cladophora. Finally we provided evidence that E. viridis receives a substantial fitness benefit under satiation by retaining functional kleptoplasts through increased growth efficiency via phototrophy (paper IV). Overall this thesis contributes substantially to understanding the fitness trade-offs E. viridis faces through diet selection.…

Subjects/Keywords: Elysia viridis; sacoglossan; herbivore; macroalgae; seaweed; optimal diet theory; individual speciliasation; diet selection; kleptoplasty; phototrophy

…address instances where an individual must select between food items from a range of available… …assume that an individual will select a diet that maximizes some currency related to fitness… …result in individual specialisation, whereby individuals within a population differentially… …types in a habitat or patch to provide the likelihood that an individual will encounter a… …relates to the time taken for an individual to recognise and evaluate a food type when it is… 

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APA (6th Edition):

Baumgartner, F. (2013). What makes Elysia viridis tick? Fitness consequences of diet selection and kleptoplasty. (Thesis). University of Gothenburg / Göteborgs Universitet. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2077/32881

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Baumgartner, Finn. “What makes Elysia viridis tick? Fitness consequences of diet selection and kleptoplasty.” 2013. Thesis, University of Gothenburg / Göteborgs Universitet. Accessed October 21, 2020. http://hdl.handle.net/2077/32881.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Baumgartner, Finn. “What makes Elysia viridis tick? Fitness consequences of diet selection and kleptoplasty.” 2013. Web. 21 Oct 2020.

Vancouver:

Baumgartner F. What makes Elysia viridis tick? Fitness consequences of diet selection and kleptoplasty. [Internet] [Thesis]. University of Gothenburg / Göteborgs Universitet; 2013. [cited 2020 Oct 21]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/32881.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Council of Science Editors:

Baumgartner F. What makes Elysia viridis tick? Fitness consequences of diet selection and kleptoplasty. [Thesis]. University of Gothenburg / Göteborgs Universitet; 2013. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/32881

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

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