Predator induced life-history shifts in a freshwater cladoceran

Research paper by Herwig Stibor

Indexed on: 01 Nov '92Published on: 01 Nov '92Published in: Oecologia


Life-history theory predicts that maturity and resource allocation patterns are highly sensitive to selective predation. Under reduced adult survival, selection will favour genotypes capable of reproducing earlier, at a smaller size and with a higher reproductive effort. When exposed to water that previously held fish, (size selective predators which prefer larger Daphnia), individuals of Daphnia hyalina reproduced earlier, at a smaller size and had a higher reproductive investment. Hence the prey was able to switch its life history pattern in order to become less susceptible to predation by a specific predator. The cue that evokes the prey response is a chemical released by the predator.