• Welcome to the Group of Chemical Ecology & Ecophysiology

    Welcome to the Group of Chemical Ecology & Ecophysiology at the Limnological Institute, University of Konstanz. 

  • Freshwater model organisms in ecophysiological research:
    host-parasite interactions

    Daphnia magna is the largest representative of the genus Daphnia. These small freshwater crustaceans are also known as water fleas and are among the oldest model systems in biological research. Like any other organism, Daphnia are constantly challenged by microorganisms trying to invade their body. One of these villains is Pasteuria ramosa, a bacterial parasite castrating its host after successful establishment. The comparison of a healthy (left) and a heavily infected (right) female under a stereomicroscope reveals the consequences of parasite invasion: while the uninfected animal holds developing neonates in its brood chamber, this chamber is empty in the infected animal.

    image© Nina Schlotz

  • Freshwater model organisms in ecophysiological research:
    nutritional ecology of essential lipids

    The dietary availability of essential lipids like sterols and PUFAs (PolyUnsaturatedFattyAcids) can crucially affect the fitness of Daphnia. Algae and cyanobacteria might not provide sufficient amounts of these essential nutrients. When experimentally provided along with a deficient diet, essential lipids can increase growth and reproduction in male and female D. magna (left: animals raised on the green alga Scenedesmus obliquus; right: animals raised on the PUFA-enriched diet).

    image©Tamara Massier/Dominik Martin-Creuzburg