Caddis larvae improve their lot by gardening algae

Sedentary herbivores may improve the food resources available to them by ‘gardening’, and most obviously by fertilising primary producers with excreted nutrients such as nitrogen. In five English lakes, spanning a gradient of nutrient availability, we predicted that fertilisation of the larval retreat by the littoral, gallery-building caddisfly Tinodes waeneri would result in: (a) a distinct algal assemblage from that in the background epilithon, and that (b) the difference would be greatest in the least productive lakes (where the importance of the nutrient subsidy from larvae should be greatest).

Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Modification of littoral algal assemblages by gardening caddisfly larvae – Ings – 2017 – Freshwater Biology – Wiley Online Library