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Induced pigmentation in zooplankton: a trade-off between threats from predation and ultraviolet radiation

Hansson, Lars-Anders LU (2000) In Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 267(1459). p.2327-2331
Abstract
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is harmful to all life, and the ongoing depletion of the ozone layer is likely to affect interactions among both terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Some organisms have evolved adaptations to reduce radiation damage, such as the various types of protective pigmentation of freshwater zooplankton. However, strong pigmentation also increases vulnerability to visually hunting predators. Hence, where both UV radiation and predation are intense, zooplankton may be sandwiched between conflicting selective pressures: to be pigmented and to be transparent at the same time. Here, I show that the level of pigmentation in copepods is up to ten times higher in lakes without predatory fishes than where fishes are present,... (More)
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is harmful to all life, and the ongoing depletion of the ozone layer is likely to affect interactions among both terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Some organisms have evolved adaptations to reduce radiation damage, such as the various types of protective pigmentation of freshwater zooplankton. However, strong pigmentation also increases vulnerability to visually hunting predators. Hence, where both UV radiation and predation are intense, zooplankton may be sandwiched between conflicting selective pressures: to be pigmented and to be transparent at the same time. Here, I show that the level of pigmentation in copepods is up to ten times higher in lakes without predatory fishes than where fishes are present, Moreover, animals from the same population exposed to either UV light or predator scent showed a 10% difference in pigmentation after only four days, suggesting that pigmentation is an inducible trait. Hence, individual copepods are not passive victims of selective predation or radiation damage, but adjust the level of pigmentation according to the prevailing threat. The ability to adjust pigmentation level rapidly may be especially useful in situations where risk assessment is difficult due to strong seasonal and spatial variation in risk variables, such as in Arctic regions. With progressive thinning of the ozone layer, the ability of some but not other organisms to adjust protection against UV radiation may lead to counter-intuitive, large-scale alterations in freshwater food webs. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
volume
267
issue
1459
pages
2327 - 2331
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:0034703845
ISSN
1471-2954
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2000.1287
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
604e1714-cdad-455f-89b8-d19d10f9b4dd (old id 146700)
date added to LUP
2007-06-28 13:43:41
date last changed
2017-08-13 04:15:48
@article{604e1714-cdad-455f-89b8-d19d10f9b4dd,
  abstract     = {Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is harmful to all life, and the ongoing depletion of the ozone layer is likely to affect interactions among both terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Some organisms have evolved adaptations to reduce radiation damage, such as the various types of protective pigmentation of freshwater zooplankton. However, strong pigmentation also increases vulnerability to visually hunting predators. Hence, where both UV radiation and predation are intense, zooplankton may be sandwiched between conflicting selective pressures: to be pigmented and to be transparent at the same time. Here, I show that the level of pigmentation in copepods is up to ten times higher in lakes without predatory fishes than where fishes are present, Moreover, animals from the same population exposed to either UV light or predator scent showed a 10% difference in pigmentation after only four days, suggesting that pigmentation is an inducible trait. Hence, individual copepods are not passive victims of selective predation or radiation damage, but adjust the level of pigmentation according to the prevailing threat. The ability to adjust pigmentation level rapidly may be especially useful in situations where risk assessment is difficult due to strong seasonal and spatial variation in risk variables, such as in Arctic regions. With progressive thinning of the ozone layer, the ability of some but not other organisms to adjust protection against UV radiation may lead to counter-intuitive, large-scale alterations in freshwater food webs.},
  author       = {Hansson, Lars-Anders},
  issn         = {1471-2954},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1459},
  pages        = {2327--2331},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Induced pigmentation in zooplankton: a trade-off between threats from predation and ultraviolet radiation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2000.1287},
  volume       = {267},
  year         = {2000},
}