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Bi-directional plasticity : Rotifer prey adjust spine length to different predator regimes

Zhang, Huan LU ; Hollander, Johan LU and Hansson, Lars Anders LU (2017) In Scientific Reports 7(1).
Abstract

Numerous prey organisms, including many rotifers, exhibit inducible defensive plasticity, such as spines, in response to predators. Here, we test the hypothesis that prey modify their defence response to different predator sizes with a bi-directional adjustment in spine length. First, we show experimentally, that large-sized predators induce a reduction in prey spine length. Second, we conducted a complementary field monitoring study showing that the spine length of the prey rotifer Keratella cochlearis changed in opposite directions, in response to the shift in dominance between small-sized and large-sized predators. Third, in order to test the generality of our novel findings, we conducted a meta-analysis covering a wide array of... (More)

Numerous prey organisms, including many rotifers, exhibit inducible defensive plasticity, such as spines, in response to predators. Here, we test the hypothesis that prey modify their defence response to different predator sizes with a bi-directional adjustment in spine length. First, we show experimentally, that large-sized predators induce a reduction in prey spine length. Second, we conducted a complementary field monitoring study showing that the spine length of the prey rotifer Keratella cochlearis changed in opposite directions, in response to the shift in dominance between small-sized and large-sized predators. Third, in order to test the generality of our novel findings, we conducted a meta-analysis covering a wide array of rotifer prey taxa, strengthening the conclusions from our experimental and field studies. Hence, by combining evidence from experiments and studies in the field with a meta-analysis, we, for the first time, demonstrate that rotifer prey distinguish between predators and adjust their protective spine length accordingly, i.e. rapidly adjust spine length to escape either below or above the dominant predator's gape size window. In a broader perspective, our conclusions advance our knowledge on observed spatial and temporal variations in protective morphologies among prey organisms.

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author
organization
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type
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publication status
published
subject
in
Scientific Reports
volume
7
issue
1
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • scopus:85028653921
  • wos:000408781200113
ISSN
2045-2322
DOI
10.1038/s41598-017-08772-7
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
df481afc-6bce-41c9-931f-228939b88e2a
date added to LUP
2017-09-25 13:23:09
date last changed
2018-03-25 04:39:48
@article{df481afc-6bce-41c9-931f-228939b88e2a,
  abstract     = {<p>Numerous prey organisms, including many rotifers, exhibit inducible defensive plasticity, such as spines, in response to predators. Here, we test the hypothesis that prey modify their defence response to different predator sizes with a bi-directional adjustment in spine length. First, we show experimentally, that large-sized predators induce a reduction in prey spine length. Second, we conducted a complementary field monitoring study showing that the spine length of the prey rotifer Keratella cochlearis changed in opposite directions, in response to the shift in dominance between small-sized and large-sized predators. Third, in order to test the generality of our novel findings, we conducted a meta-analysis covering a wide array of rotifer prey taxa, strengthening the conclusions from our experimental and field studies. Hence, by combining evidence from experiments and studies in the field with a meta-analysis, we, for the first time, demonstrate that rotifer prey distinguish between predators and adjust their protective spine length accordingly, i.e. rapidly adjust spine length to escape either below or above the dominant predator's gape size window. In a broader perspective, our conclusions advance our knowledge on observed spatial and temporal variations in protective morphologies among prey organisms.</p>},
  articleno    = {1024},
  author       = {Zhang, Huan and Hollander, Johan and Hansson, Lars Anders},
  issn         = {2045-2322},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Scientific Reports},
  title        = {Bi-directional plasticity : Rotifer prey adjust spine length to different predator regimes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-08772-7},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2017},
}