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In recent years, some studies addressing the modification of phenotypically plastic traits of Daphnia in the presence of chemical cues (kairomones) from invertebrate predators have reported a lack of trade-off among resource allocation of traditional life history traits (growth and reproduction) (Spitze, 1991; Black, 1993; Weber & Declerck, 1997). In this study, we term this finding the `Chaoborus paradox'. The Chaoborus paradox contrasts with the generally accepted theory that facultative changes in life history traits are associated with costs or a modification in resource allocation. In order to unravel the Chaoborus paradox, we have tested four groups of traits that may explain resource allocation. These were (1) the trade-off between present and future reproduction, (2) reduced growth of morphological features (body length, helmet length, spine length, carapace width) prior to maturity (pre-maturity) or (3) during the first adult instar (at maturity), and (4) an increase in feeding and assimilation rates to fuel the amount of resources available to the organism. As experimental animal we used Daphnia galeata (Cladocera) and to simulate invertebrate predation we used the Chaoborus (phantom midge larvae) kairomone. A clear trade-off existed between present and future reproduction. Survival was less in the presence of Chaoborus kairomone and therefore more resources could be channelled into growth and reproduction early in life at the cost of dying younger when compared to control animals. The other groups of traits (reduced growth of morphological features and an increase the amount of resources) offer partial solutions to the Chaoborus paradox for single clones only and not for the whole population [KEYWORDS: phantom midge; morphology; physiology]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-287
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 2003

ID: 168721