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Arch. Hydrobiol. 160 4 431446 Stuttgart, August 2004 Dynamics of an inducible defence in the protist
 

Summary: Arch. Hydrobiol. 160 4 431446 Stuttgart, August 2004
Dynamics of an inducible defence in the protist
Euplotes
Res Altwegg1
*, Kerry B. Marchinko1, 2
, Shelly L. Duquette1
, and
Bradley R. Anholt1
With 3 figures and 2 tables
Abstract: Inducible antipredator defences are expressed according to current predation
risk. They enhance survival in the presence of predators but have associated fitness
costs. Theory predicts that food webs in which members express inducible defences
can be either more or less stable than food webs in which inducible defences are
absent. This effect depends, to a large degree, on the ability of the prey defence to
track predation risk. We investigated the dynamics of an inducible defence in hypotrich
ciliates of the genus Euplotes in replicated experimental microcosms. In response to
predators or their cues (live or frozen Stenostomum sp.), Euplotes develop lateral pro-
jections that significantly increase their width and effectively protect them from being
eaten by this gape limited predator. Paramecium aurelia shares resources with Euplo-
tes, but does not alter its morphology in response to predators. We exposed Euplotes,

  

Source: Altwegg, Res - Avian Demography Unit, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology