Title
Predator-specific changes in the morphology and swimming performance of larval **Rana lessonae** Predator-specific changes in the morphology and swimming performance of larval **Rana lessonae**
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Functional ecology / British Ecological Society. - Oxford
Volume/pages
19(2005) :2 , p. 238-244
ISSN
0269-8463
ISI
000229370500006
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
We investigated the morphological responses of larval Rana lessonae to the presence of two predators with substantially different prey-detection and capture techniques; larval dragonflies (Aeshna cyanea) and the Pumpkinseed Sunfish (Lepomis gibossus). We also examined the functional implications of any predator-induced morphological variation on their swimming ability by assessing performance during the initial stages of a startle response. We found the morphological responses of larval R. lessonae were dependent on the specific predator present. Tadpoles raised in the presence of dragonfly larvae preying upon conspecific tadpoles developed total tail heights 5·4% deeper and tail muscles 4·7% shallower than tadpoles raised in a non-predator environment, while tadpoles raised with sunfish possessed tails 2% shallower and tail muscles 2·5% higher than non-predator-exposed tadpoles. Predator-induced morphological variation also significantly influenced swimming performance. Tadpoles raised with sunfish possessed swimming speeds 9·5 and 14·6% higher than non- and dragonfly predator groups, respectively. Thus, the expression of these alternative predator-morphs leads to a functional trade-off in performance between the different environments.
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