Size Selective Predation and its Effects on Zooplankton Populations


  • Alex Jemelian University of Washington Seattle
  • Daniel Schindler University of Washington



lakes, zooplankton, limnology, fish, British Columbia, Lake Washington, lake, size selective predation, predation, size selection, daphnia


Many lakes around the world have plankton communities that are structured by an ecological phenomenon known as size selective predation. Size selective predation is a form of predation that selects for prey of a specific desired size by the predator. Size selective predation can have an effect on both size distribution of the prey population as well as the composition of zooplankton taxa in a lake ecosystem. The overarching question being asked in this experiment is how the different zooplankton populations are affected under conditions where they are subjected to size selective predation. Within our study, we assessed the effects of size selective predation in two lakes in British Columbia, and reproduced the natural phenomenon in the lab using live zooplankton and their predators to simulate interactions in the natural world.


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Author Biography

Daniel Schindler, University of Washington

Associate Professor, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, and Biology, University of Washington, Seattle

References or Bibliography

Brooks, J.L., & S.I. Dodson. (1965). Predation, body size, and competition of plankton. Science 150:28-35.

City of Seattle. (n.d.). Seattle’s Aquatic Environments. Retrieved December 16, 2022, from

Detmer, T. M., McCutchan, J. H., & Lewis, W. M. (2016). Predator driven changes in prey size distribution stabilize secondary production in lacustrine food webs. Limnology and Oceanography, 62(2), 592–605.

Dodson, S.I. (1974). Adaptive change in plankton morphology in response to size-selective predation: A new hypothesis of cyclomorphosis. Limnology and Oceanography, 19(5), 721–729.

Dodson, S.I. (1974). Zooplankton competition and predation: An experimental test of the size-efficiency hypothesis. Ecology 55:605-613.

Gelinas, M., Pinel-Alloul, B., & Slusarczyk, M. (2007). Alternative antipredator responses of two coexisting daphnia species to negative size selection by Yoy Perch. Journal of Plankton Research, 29(9), 775–789.



How to Cite

Jemelian, A., & Schindler, D. (2023). Size Selective Predation and its Effects on Zooplankton Populations. Journal of Student Research, 12(2).



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