Document Detail

Metabolic stoichiometry and the ecology of fear in Trinidadian guppies: consequences for life histories and stream ecosystems.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  25255854     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Consumer-driven nutrient recycling, the release of chemicals as byproducts and excesses of consumer physiology, can alter ecosystems by changing the availability of limiting nutrients at the base of the food web. The mere presence of predators can alter consumer physiology by restricting food intake and inducing stress. Predation risk, then, can influence ecosystem function by modifying the role of prey as nutrient recyclers, yet there are few empirical tests of how predation risk alters nutrient recycling by prey. Here, we present the results of a test for the effects of predation risk on the C and N budgets of Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We reared female guppies for 7 weeks on diets of varying quality, and we compared control individuals to those exposed continuously to chemical cues emitted by a guppy predator, Crenicichla alta. We measured food consumption, growth rate, tissue elemental stoichiometry and N excretion by guppies on all treatments. Guppies strongly reduced food intake in the presence of predator cues; however, cue-exposed guppies assimilated nutrients more efficiently than controls. Specifically, cue-exposed guppies strongly increased N retention efficiency while only moderately increasing C efficiency. Consequently, guppies reared with predator cues excreted 39 % less N than control guppies. We suggest that reduced foraging, enhanced nutrient efficiency, and decreased N excretion are adaptive responses to the extrinsic mortality threat posed by guppy predators. The resulting substantial reduction in N excretion by guppies may influence ecosystem function in natural streams by reducing the supply of a limiting nutrient.
Christopher M Dalton; Alexander S Flecker
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2014-9-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oecologia     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1432-1939     ISO Abbreviation:  Oecologia     Publication Date:  2014 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-9-26     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  2014-9-27    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150372     Medline TA:  Oecologia     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
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