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ArticleCopepod manipulation of oil droplet size distribution(Nature Research, 2019-01-24) Uttieri, Marco ; Nihongi, Ai ; Hinow, Peter ; Motschman, Jeffrey ; Jiang, Houshuo ; Alcaraz, Miquel ; Strickler, J. RudiOil spills are one of the most dangerous sources of pollution in aquatic ecosystems. Owing to their pivotal position in the food web, pelagic copepods can provide crucial intermediary transferring oil between trophic levels. In this study we show that the calanoid Paracartia grani can actively modify the size-spectrum of oil droplets. Direct manipulation through the movement of the feeding appendages and egestion work in concert, splitting larger droplets (Ø = 16 µm) into smaller ones (Ø = 4–8 µm). The copepod-driven change in droplet size distribution can increase the availability of oil droplets to organisms feeding on smaller particles, sustaining the transfer of petrochemical compounds among different compartments. These results raise the curtain on complex small-scale interactions which can promote the understanding of oil spills fate in aquatic ecosystems.
ArticleOscillations in the near-field feeding current of a calanoid copepod are useful for particle sensing(Nature Research, 2019-11-28) Giuffre, Carl ; Hinow, Peter ; Jiang, Houshuo ; Strickler, J. RudiCalanoid copepods are small crustaceans that constitute a major element of aquatic ecosystems. Key to their success is their feeding apparatus consisting of sensor-studded mouth appendages that are in constant motion. These appendages generate a feeding current to enhance the encounter probability with food items. Additionally, sensing enables the organism to determine the position and quality of food particles, and to alter the near-field flow to capture and manipulate the particles for ingestion or rejection. Here we observe a freely swimming copepod Leptodiaptomus sicilis in multiple perspectives together with suspended particles that allow us to analyse the flow field created by the animal. We observe a highly periodic motion of the mouth appendages that is mirrored in oscillations of nearby tracer particles. We propose that the phase shift between the fluid and the particle velocities is sufficient for mechanical detection of the particles entrained in the feeding current. Moreover, we propose that an immersed algal cell may benefit from the excitation by increased uptake of dissolved inorganic compounds.