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Am Nat. 1998 Aug;152(2):237-48. doi: 10.1086/286164.

Predator-mediated plasticity in morphology, life history, and behavior of Daphnia: the uncoupling of responses.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Limnologie, Postfach 165, D-24302 Plön, Germany.


We studied the way 12 traits responded to fish kairomones in a set of 16 Daphnia magna clones derived from four different habitats-two where daphnids co-occur with fish and two without fish. These clones differed widely in their response to predator kairomones, with none of the clones showing a significant response in all traits and all clones showing a response for at least one trait. Most of the clones showed a significant response in one to four traits, with no evidence for an association between different traits. Clones from fish habitats were slightly more responsive to the presence of fish kairomones than clones from fishless locations. We conclude that most clones show an induced response to the presence of their predators (fish) but that there is a large genetic variability with respect to the traits for which clones show a response. Our results indicate that the major distinction is not between inducible and noninducible genotypes but rather that the genotypes differ in the combination of traits for which they show inducible responses.

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