Feeding behavioural studies with freshwater Gammarus spp.: The importance of a standardised methodology

Giulia Consolandi, Alex Ford, Michelle Bloor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Freshwater Gammarids are common leaf-shredding detritivores, and they usually feed on naturally conditioned organic material, in other words leaf litter that is characterised by an increased palatability, due to the action and presence of microorganisms (Chaumot et al. 2015; Cummins 1974: Maltby et al. 2002). Gammarus spp. are biologically omnivorous organisms, so they are involved in shredding leaf litter and are also prone to cannibalism, predation behaviour (Kelly et al. 2002) and coprophagy when juveniles (McCahon and Pascoe 1988). Gammarus spp. is a keystone species (Woodward et al. 2008), and it plays an important role in the decomposition of organic matter (Alonso et al. 2009; Bundschuh et al. 2013) and is also a noteworthy prey for fish and birds (Andrén and Eriksson Wiklund 2013; Blarer and Burkhardt-Holm 2016). Gammarids are considered to be fairly sensitive to different contaminants (Ashauer et al. 2010; Bloor et al. 2005; Felten et al. 2008a; Lahive et al. 2015; Kunz et al. 2010); in fact Amphipods have been reported to be one of the most sensitive orders to metals and organic compounds (Wogram and Liess 2001), which makes them representative test organisms for ecotoxicological studies and valid sentinel species for assessing water quality status (Garcia-Galan et al. 2017).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (Continuation of Residue Reviews)
EditorsPim de Voogt
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer New York
Publication statusEarly online - 12 Oct 2019


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