Phenotypically plastic responses to predation risk are temperature dependent
Predicting how organisms respond to climate change requires that we understand the temperature dependence of fitness in relevant ecological contexts (e.g., with or without predation risk). Predation risk often induces changes to life history traits that are themselves temperature dependent. We explore how perceived predation risk and temperature interact to determine fitness (indicated by the intrinsic rate of increase, r) through changes to its underlying components (net reproductive rate, generation time, and survival) in Daphnia magna. We exposed Daphnia to predation cues from dragonfly naiads early, late, or throughout their ontogeny. Predation risk increased r differentially across temperatures and depending on the timing of exposure to predation cues. The timing of predation risk likewise altered the temperature-dependent response of T and R0. Daphnia at hotter temperatures responded to predation risk by increasing r through a combination of increased R0 and decreased T that together countered an increase in mortality rate. However, only D. magna that experienced predation cues early in ontogeny showed elevated r at colder temperatures. These results highlight the fact that phenotypically plastic responses of life history traits to predation risk can be strongly temperature dependent.
KeywordsClimate change Fecundity Life history Mortality Reproduction Survivorship
We thank J. Hite for experimental design suggestions, and J. Hotovy, K. Sullivan, S. Tjards, M. Pinto, S. French, B. Bathke, B. Harmon, C. Urbauer, S. Uiterwaal, and R. Vetter for transferring, and counting over 2000 daphnia neonates. We thank AE Scott Peacor, C. Streid, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on the manuscript. TML thanks the University of Nebraska’s Program of Excellence in Population Biology.
Author contributions statement
TML conceived the study; TML, JMV, CEC, and JPD designed the study; TML and JMV ran the experiment and collected data, TML analyzed the data. TML, JMV, CEC and JPD interpreted the results and TML drafted the manuscript. TML, JMV, CEC, and JPD revised and approved the manuscript. All authors contributed critically to drafts of the manuscript and gave their final approval for publication.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no competing interests.
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