Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 397–411 | Cite as

Phytoplankton composition modifies predator-driven life history evolution in Daphnia

  • Matthew R. Walsh
  • Kimberly J. La Pierre
  • David M. Post
Original Paper

Abstract

Organisms experience competing selective pressures, which can obscure the mechanisms driving evolution. Daphniaambigua is found in lakes where a predator, the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) either does (anadromous) or does not (landlocked) migrate between marine and freshwater. We previously reported an association between alewife variation and life history evolution in Daphnia. However, differences in alewife migration indirectly influence phytoplankton composition for Daphnia. In ‘anadromous lakes’, Daphnia are present in the spring and experience abundant high-quality green algae. Intense predation by young-of-the-year anadromous alewife quickly eliminates these Daphnia populations by early summer. Daphnia from ‘landlocked lakes’ and lakes without alewife (‘no alewife lakes’) are present during the spring and summer and are more likely to experience high concentrations of sub-optimal cyanobacteria during the summer. To explore links between predation, resources, and prey evolution, we reared third-generation laboratory-born Daphnia from all lake types on increasing cyanobacteria concentrations. We observed several significant ‘lake type × resource’ interactions whereby the differences among lake types depended upon cyanobacteria concentrations. Daphnia from anadromous lakes developed faster, were larger at maturation, produced more offspring, and had higher intrinsic rates of increase in the absence of cyanobacteria. Such trends disappeared or reversed as cyanobacteria concentration was increased because Daphnia from anadromous lakes were more strongly influenced by the presence of cyanobacteria. Our results argue that alewife migration and phytoplankton composition both play a role in Daphnia evolution.

Keywords

Phenotypic plasticity Predator–prey Cyanobacteria Local adaptation 

Supplementary material

10682_2013_9666_MOESM1_ESM.docx (34 kb)
Supplementary material (DOCX 34 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew R. Walsh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kimberly J. La Pierre
    • 1
  • David M. Post
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Texas ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

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