Abstract: Predator-induced phenotypic plasticities in Daphnia: a test of Anax- and Hesperagrion- induced life histories in D. pulex
Mentor: Dr. Ross Black, Biology
A life table experiment was conducted to determine if Daphnia pulex exhibit predator-induced shifts in life history characters when in the presence of chemicals released by predatory larvae of the dragon-fly, Anax and the damsel-fly, Hesperagrion. Following one generation of conditioning to treatment environments, life table data were collected from 20 individuals in each of the two predator treatments, and a control treatment. No significant differences in life history characters among D. pulex in the Hesperagrion and control treatments were observed. Within the Anax treatments, Daphnia experienced shorter development to maturity, higher survivorship, and produced significantly more offspring in their fourth and fifth broods. Additionally, estimates of life time fecundity indicate D. pulex exposed to Anax produced significantly more offspring relative to Daphnia in the control treatment.
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