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Induced morphological defenses in the wild: Predator effects on a mayfly, Drunella coloradensis

Dahl, Jonas LU and Peckarsky, BL (2002) In Ecology 83(6). p.1620-1634
Abstract
Phenotypic plasticity may enable organisms to optimize their phenotypes in environments that are heterogeneous over time or space. For example, inducible defenses are favored for prey populations faced with variable predation risk. We studied the impact of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) on the development of defensive morphological characters in larvae of the mayfly, Drunella coloradensis, both in natural streams and in a series of experiments carried out in streamside, circular, flow-through chambers. Drunella larvae in natural streams with trout had Ion-er caudal filaments per unit body size and relatively heavier exoskeletons than Drunella in fishless streams. Female larvae that developed in fish streams were also significantly... (More)
Phenotypic plasticity may enable organisms to optimize their phenotypes in environments that are heterogeneous over time or space. For example, inducible defenses are favored for prey populations faced with variable predation risk. We studied the impact of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) on the development of defensive morphological characters in larvae of the mayfly, Drunella coloradensis, both in natural streams and in a series of experiments carried out in streamside, circular, flow-through chambers. Drunella larvae in natural streams with trout had Ion-er caudal filaments per unit body size and relatively heavier exoskeletons than Drunella in fishless streams. Female larvae that developed in fish streams were also significantly smaller and less fecund at metamorphosis than those living in fishless streams, suggesting a possible fitness cost associated with development of morphological defenses. However, timing of metamorphosis of Drunella larvae to the adult stage did not differ between fish and fishless streams. Larvae originating from fish and fishless streams were reared and exposed to water with fish cues or fishless control water for three weeks (1998) or until they developed black wing pads, i.e., just before emergence (1999). In both experiments waterborne fish cues induced the development of relatively longer caudal filaments, but only in Drunella originating from sites without fish. Waterborne fish cues had no effect oil Drunella growth rates, behavior, or size at emergence. Drunella originating from fish streams had significantly lower mortality when exposed to predation by trout than Drunella originating from fishless streams. Caudal filament length appears to enhance survival, as Drunella with intact caudal filaments had lower predation rates than Drunella with their tails artificially shortened. This study provides evidence of chemically induced morphological plasticity that could reduce predation rates of these mayflies in natural stream environments. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
morphological defenses, mayflies, inducible defenses, fecundity costs of induced morphological defenses, Drunella coloradensis, adaptive phenotypic plasticity, development, predation, streams, trout
in
Ecology
volume
83
issue
6
pages
1620 - 1634
publisher
Ecological Society of America
external identifiers
  • wos:000176400800017
  • scopus:0038682141
ISSN
0012-9658
DOI
10.1890/0012-9658(2002)083[1620:IMDITW]2.0.CO;2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
55d83ca5-6e1a-459d-bae2-3e13df4a02a8 (old id 335245)
date added to LUP
2007-08-15 14:08:38
date last changed
2017-08-27 05:18:13
@article{55d83ca5-6e1a-459d-bae2-3e13df4a02a8,
  abstract     = {Phenotypic plasticity may enable organisms to optimize their phenotypes in environments that are heterogeneous over time or space. For example, inducible defenses are favored for prey populations faced with variable predation risk. We studied the impact of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) on the development of defensive morphological characters in larvae of the mayfly, Drunella coloradensis, both in natural streams and in a series of experiments carried out in streamside, circular, flow-through chambers. Drunella larvae in natural streams with trout had Ion-er caudal filaments per unit body size and relatively heavier exoskeletons than Drunella in fishless streams. Female larvae that developed in fish streams were also significantly smaller and less fecund at metamorphosis than those living in fishless streams, suggesting a possible fitness cost associated with development of morphological defenses. However, timing of metamorphosis of Drunella larvae to the adult stage did not differ between fish and fishless streams. Larvae originating from fish and fishless streams were reared and exposed to water with fish cues or fishless control water for three weeks (1998) or until they developed black wing pads, i.e., just before emergence (1999). In both experiments waterborne fish cues induced the development of relatively longer caudal filaments, but only in Drunella originating from sites without fish. Waterborne fish cues had no effect oil Drunella growth rates, behavior, or size at emergence. Drunella originating from fish streams had significantly lower mortality when exposed to predation by trout than Drunella originating from fishless streams. Caudal filament length appears to enhance survival, as Drunella with intact caudal filaments had lower predation rates than Drunella with their tails artificially shortened. This study provides evidence of chemically induced morphological plasticity that could reduce predation rates of these mayflies in natural stream environments.},
  author       = {Dahl, Jonas and Peckarsky, BL},
  issn         = {0012-9658},
  keyword      = {morphological defenses,mayflies,inducible defenses,fecundity costs of induced morphological defenses,Drunella coloradensis,adaptive phenotypic plasticity,development,predation,streams,trout},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {1620--1634},
  publisher    = {Ecological Society of America},
  series       = {Ecology},
  title        = {Induced morphological defenses in the wild: Predator effects on a mayfly, Drunella coloradensis},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/0012-9658(2002)083[1620:IMDITW]2.0.CO;2},
  volume       = {83},
  year         = {2002},
}