Title
Life history responses depend on timing of cannibalism in a damselfly Life history responses depend on timing of cannibalism in a damselfly
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Freshwater biology. - Oxford
Volume/pages
49(2004) :6 , p. 775-786
ISSN
0046-5070
ISI
000221492000008
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
1. Cannibalism has often been suggested as an important mechanism to reach the necessary developmental stage and size before a critical time horizon is reached, but this role has been largely unexplored. We studied effects of cannibalism on the life history of the damselfly Lestes viridis under combinations of a time constraint (by manipulating the perceived time available in the growth season) and a biotic constraint (density). 2. Larvae had a faster development and growth rate when reared at high time stress (late photoperiod). They also had a higher growth rate and mass at emergence when cannibalism occurred (density 2 and 4). Cannibalism occurred earlier at higher density. Accelerated life history responses (faster development and growth rate) and a higher mass at emergence were dependent upon the timing of cannibalism. Responses were more pronounced or only present if cannibalism occurred early in the larval period. 3. Our data suggest that cannibalism may not only act as a lifeboat mechanism by enabling cannibals to survive detrimental ecological conditions, but may also act as a compensatory mechanism to keep life history variables near-optimal at life history transitions, even under sub-optimal conditions.
E-info
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/iruaauth/bff6bd/0615838.pdf
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