Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity in tadpoles: extension or innovation?

Kraft, P. G., Franklin, C. E. and Blows, M. W. (2006) Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity in tadpoles: extension or innovation?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 19 2: 450-458. doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2005.01015.x

Author Kraft, P. G.
Franklin, C. E.
Blows, M. W.
Title Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity in tadpoles: extension or innovation?
Journal name Journal of Evolutionary Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1010-061X
Publication date 2006-01-01
Year available 2006
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2005.01015.x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 19
Issue 2
Start page 450
End page 458
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject C1
270700 Ecology and Evolution
780105 Biological sciences
Abstract Phenotypic plasticity, the ability of a trait to change as a function of the environment, is central to many ideas in evolutionary biology. A special case of phenotypic plasticity observed in many organisms is mediated by their natural predators. Here, we used a predator-prey system of dragonfly larvae and tadpoles to determine if predator-mediated phenotypic plasticity provides a novel way of surviving in the presence of predators (an innovation) or if it represents a simple extension of the way noninduced tadpoles survive predation. Tadpoles of Limnodynastes peronii were raised in the presence and absence of predation, which then entered a survival experiment. Induced morphological traits, primarily tail height and tail muscle height, were found to be under selection, indicating that predator-mediated phenotypic plasticity may be adaptive. Although predator-induced animals survived better, the multivariate linear selection gradients were similar between the two tadpole groups, suggesting that predator-mediated phenotypic plasticity is an extension of existing survival strategies. In addition, nonlinear selection gradients indicated a cost of predator-induced plasticity that may limit the ability of phenotypic plasticity to enhance survival in the presence of predators.
Keyword Fitness Surface
Phenotypic Plasticity
Predator-prey Interaction
Selection Analysis
Evolutionary Biology
Genetics & Heredity
Inducible Defense
Larval Anurans
Tail Shape
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 19:06:00 EST