Document Detail

Behavioural and life history effects of predator diet cues during ontogeny in damselfly larvae.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16421756     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A central issue in predator-prey interactions is how predator associated chemical cues affect the behaviour and life history of prey. In this study, we investigated how growth and behaviour during ontogeny of a damselfly larva (Coenagrion hastulatum) in high and low food environments was affected by the diet of a predator (Aeshna juncea). We reared larvae in three different predator treatments; no predator, predator feeding on conspecifics and predator feeding on heterospecifics. We found that, independent of food availability, larvae displayed the strongest anti-predator behaviours where predators consumed prey conspecifics. Interestingly, the effect of predator diet on prey activity was only present early in ontogeny, whereas late in ontogeny no difference in prey activity between treatments could be found. In contrast, the significant effect of predator diet on prey spatial distribution was unaffected by time. Larval size was affected by both food availability and predator diet. Larvae reared in the high food treatment grew larger than larvae in the low food treatment. Mean larval size was smallest in the treatment where predators consumed prey conspecifics, intermediate where predators consumed heterospecifics and largest in the treatment without predators. The difference in mean larval size between treatments is probably an effect of reduced larval feeding, due to behavioural responses to chemical cues associated with predator diet. Our study suggests that anti-predator responses can be specific for certain stages in ontogeny. This finding shows the importance of considering where in its ontogeny a study organism is before results are interpreted and generalisations are made. Furthermore, this finding accentuates the importance of long-term studies and may have implications for how results generated by short-term studies can be used.
Tomas Brodin; Dirk Johannes Mikolajewski; Frank Johansson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2006-01-19
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oecologia     Volume:  148     ISSN:  0029-8549     ISO Abbreviation:  Oecologia     Publication Date:  2006 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-04-20     Completed Date:  2006-08-01     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150372     Medline TA:  Oecologia     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  162-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Animal Ecology, Umeå University, 90187, Umeå, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Body Size
Insects / physiology*
Larva / growth & development,  physiology*
Predatory Behavior / physiology*

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