, Volume 144, Issue 3, pp 481–491 | Cite as

Putting prey back together again: integrating predator-induced behavior, morphology, and life history

  • Jason T. Hoverman
  • Josh R. Auld
  • Rick A. Relyea
Community Ecology


The last decade has seen an explosion in the number of studies exploring predator-induced plasticity. Recently, there has been a call for more comprehensive approaches that can identify functional relationships between traits, constraints on phenotypic responses, and the cost and benefits of alternative phenotypes. In this study, we exposed Helisoma trivolvis, a freshwater snail, to a factorial combination of three resource levels and five predator environments (no predator, one or two water bugs, and one or two crayfish) and examined ten traits including behavior, morphology, and life history. Each predator induced a unique suite of behavioral and morphological responses. Snails increased near-surface habitat use with crayfish but not with water bugs. Further, crayfish induced narrow and high shells whereas water bugs induced wide shells and wide apertures. In terms of life history, both predators induced delayed reproduction and greater mass at reproduction. However, crayfish induced a greater delay in reproduction that resulted in reduced fecundity whereas water bugs did not induce differences in fecundity. Resource levels impacted the morphology of H. trivolvis; snails reared with greater resource levels produced higher shells, narrower shells, and wider apertures. Resource levels also impacted snail life history; lower resources caused longer times to reproduction and reduced fecundity. Based on an analysis of phenotypic correlations, the morphological responses to each predator most likely represent phenotypic trade-offs. Snails could either produce invasion-resistant shells for defense against water bugs or crush-resistant shells for defense against crayfish, but not both. Our use of a comprehensive approach to examine the responses of H. trivolvis has provided important information regarding the complexity of phenotypic responses to different environments, the patterns of phenotypic integration across environments, and the potential costs and benefits associated with plastic traits.


Phenotypic plasticity Trade-offs Multiple traits Multiple environments Gastropod 



We would like to thank Elizabeth Kennedy, Patty Ho, and Adam Marko for their assistance with the experiment. April Randle, Nancy Schoeppner, Andrew Turner, and several anonymous reviewers provided many helpful comments. This work was supported by the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Sigma Xi, the University of Pittsburgh-McKinley Research Award, and the National Science Foundation. Animal care was within institutional guidelines.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason T. Hoverman
    • 1
  • Josh R. Auld
    • 1
  • Rick A. Relyea
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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