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Plasticity of Daphnia magna life history traits in response to temperature and information about a predator

Plasticity of Daphnia magna life history traits in response to temperature and information about a predator

Freshwater Biology 39(4): 681-687

1. Exudates from predators often elicit early maturation in Daphnia, which may protect them from predation. Diel vertical migration (DVM) is also a predator-avoidance device and affects life history traits because of the variable temperature experienced during migration. This study asks, therefore, how do these two effects interact and what are the net costs and benefits of the two defences combined? 2. Key life history features were studied in a two factorial life table experiment in a monoclonal cohort of Daphnia magna to quantify the costs of predator-induced defences. 3. The costs of DVM, associated with low temperature, yielded a 30% decrease in the intrinsic rate of population increase. This was caused by later maturation and longer egg development time, despite a higher fecundity 4. Chemical information that predators were present resulted in smaller, more numerous offspring, but had no significant effect on size and age at first reproduction. The costs of induction were therefore associated with smaller, and thus presumably lower quality, offspring. 5. Changes in life history induced by fish exudates were independent of the shifts caused by low temperature. 6. The measure of fitness chosen to assess the costs of induced defences is important because the costs often depend on the environment.

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Accession: 009205282

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DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2427.1998.00320.x

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