The hypothesis was tested that copper uptake routes affect the tolerance of Daphnia magna to copper and influence the energy reserves. These were determined in D. magna juveniles that had been exposed for 4 days to water borne and/or dietary copper (algae Pseudokichneriella subcapitata loaded with copper) at nominal concentrations of 0, 10, and 100 nM. Tolerance increased with dietary copper pre-exposure reflected in 24 and 48 h LC50 values of 466 and 398 nM at 100 nM pre-exposure versus 301 and 254 nM in controls, respectively. Control animals (no copper added to their exposure medium and diet) had the lowest lipid content and consequently the lowest energy content. The current study stresses the importance of addressing dietary exposure routes in metal toxicity assessments. (c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.