Ecological stoichiometry of freshwater zooplankton
In many ecosystems, human impacts have strongly altered the quantities and relative ratios of elements such as carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen. This may have important consequences, not only for the plants, but also for the animals that use these plants as food source. Animals need specific ratios of elements for their optimal growth, survival and reproduction. Deviations from these ratios (‘stochiometric mismatch’) may lead to substantial performance reductions with important ecological and microevolutionary consequences. In this project, we investigate how populations of zooplankton herbivores respond to and cope with both shortage and excess of critical elements in their diet, both from ecological and microevolutionary perspectives.