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Spatial heterogeneity in induced defense of Brachionus calyciflorus within a single lake caused by a bed of floating-leaved macrophyte Trapa species

Abstract

While induced defense of aquatic organisms against predators has been considerably studied by both laboratory and field research, our understanding is still limited about, for example, whether induced defense is variable between microhabitats within the same lake and how multiple predators influence induced defense in the natural environment. Here, we examined whether a rotifer species, Brachionus calyciflorus showed a different development degree of induced defenses against its predator Asplanchna and cyclopoid copepods between the microhabitats of a macrophyte bed consisting of Trapa species and open water. B. calyciflorus was more abundant and had larger posterolateral spines as a defensive trait in open water than in the Trapa bed. Asplanchna was more abundant in open water than in the Trapa bed, whereas cyclopoids were more abundant in the Trapa bed. Both of the predators significantly affected the development of the defense trait. The effect of Asplanchna on the defense trait was positive, whereas the effect of cyclopoids was negative. Thus, a spatial difference in the development degree of induced defense between the microhabitats occurred as the dense Trapa bed influenced the abundance of the two predators. The results also suggest that the induced defense of B. calyciflorus was effective in reducing the predation pressure from Asplanchna while B. calyciflorus was not able to avoid predation by cyclopoids in the Trapa bed.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Toshio Furota, Ryohei Makino, and members of the Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology of Toho University for their assistance with field sampling. We thank Norio Hayashi, Jun Nishihiro, Takashi Yamanouchi, Gen Morimoto and Junji Konuma for their suggestions and comments on this study. We also thank two reviewers and the editor for their constructive comments. This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI (25281052, 26291088) and River Foundation (23-1251-011).

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Correspondence to Yurie Otake.

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Handling Editor: Jun Nishihiro.

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Otake, Y., Kagami, M., Kuriyama, T. et al. Spatial heterogeneity in induced defense of Brachionus calyciflorus within a single lake caused by a bed of floating-leaved macrophyte Trapa species. Limnology 20, 29–38 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10201-017-0534-y

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Keywords

  • Induced defense
  • Brachionus calyciflorus
  • Asplanchna
  • Cyclopoid copepods
  • Floating-leaved macrophyte
  • Predator–prey interaction