Lake-dwelling waterfleas, Daphnia, often face a dilemma;Food availability is highest, near the water surface, but predation by visually hunting predators is also most severe. Swimming downward at dawn reduces predation risk, but food availability and temperature also decrease with depth. We tested whether Daphnia process information derived from food and predator presence to estimate the costs and benefits of migration, and to determine when it pays to swim down. We studied downward swimming of D. galeata x hyalina in response to stepwise accelerations of relative increases in the intensity of light at several food and fish kairomone concentrations. Both had a modifying, additive, although independent effect. We studied in six clones. the clonal differences of this environmentally induced plasticity of photobehaviour. These clones were caught at two depths at noon during a period of vertical migration in Lake Maarsseveen (the Netherlands), and so presumably differed in vertical migration behaviour. Two clones, one from the epilimnion and one from the hypolimnion, showed a particularly significant difference in migration behaviour. (C) 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. [KEYWORDS: Diel vertical migration; phototactic behavior; lake maarsseveen; zooplankton; magna; hyalina; heterogeneity; availability; phenotypes; population]
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Journal publication date1998

ID: 166491