Modelling Effects of Temperature and Feeding Level on the Life Cycle of the Midge Chironomus Riparius: An Energy-Based Modelling Approach
Survival, growth, emergence and reproduction were monitored during the life cycle of Chironomus riparius in the laboratory at five temperatures from 15 to 27 °C and two feeding diets (ad libitum and limiting). Data were analysed using an energy-based model. Survival was not affected. In ad libitum conditions, growth rate increased linearly with temperature as a consequence of quicker food ingestion. Our model parameterised using the data in ad libitum conditions could account for the data obtained in food limited conditions. Reproduction was not influenced by temperature because the decrease of the duration of the period of energetic investment into reproduction compensated for the increase of the feeding rate when temperature increased. Based on these results, we then built a model describing life cycles in the field which may contribute to the field assessment of the consequences of global warming or pollution.