Homeostatic swimming of zooplankton upon crowding: The case of the copepod Centropages typicus

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


Crowding has a major impact on the dynamics of many material and biological systems, inducing effects as diverse as glassy dynamics and swarming. While this issue has been deeply investigated for a variety of living organisms, more research remains to be done on the effect of crowding on the behaviour of copepods, the most abundant metazoans on Earth. To this aim, we experimentally investigate the swimming behaviour, used as a dynamic proxy of animal adaptations, of males and females of the calanoid copepod Centropages typicus at different densities of individuals (10, 50 and 100 ind. l -1) by performing three-dimensional single-organism tracking. We find that the C. typicus motion is surprisingly unaffected by crowding over the investigated density range. Indeed, the mean square displacements as a function of time always show a crossover from ballistic to Fickian regime, with poor variations of the diffusion constant on increasing the density. Close to the crossover, the displacement distributions display exponential tails with a nearly density-independent decay length. The trajectory fractal dimension, D 3D ≅ 1.5, and the recently proposed 'ecological temperature' also remain stable on increasing the individual density. This suggests that, at least over the range of animal densities used, crowding does not impact on the characteristics of C. typicus swimming motion, and that a homeostatic mechanism preserves the stability of its swimming performance.


  • Marco Uttieri
  • Peter Hinow
  • Raffaele Pastore
  • Giuseppe Bianco
  • Maurizio Ribera D'Alcalá
  • Maria Grazia Mazzocchi
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • University of Naples Federico II
  • Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Zoologi


TidskriftJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Utgåva nummer179
StatusPublished - 2021 jun
Peer review utfördJa