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If prey species exhibit trade-offs in their ability to utilize resources versus their ability to avoid predation, predators can facilitate prey turnover along gradients of productivity, shifting dominance from edible to inedible prey (the keystone predator effect). I tested this model under controlled, laboratory conditions, using a model aquatic system composed of zooplankton as the top consumer, a diverse community of algae as prey, and nutrients as basal resources. Nutrient manipulations (low and high) were crossed with presence–absence of zooplankton. Results supported theoretical predictions. Algal biomass increased in response to enrichment regardless of predator presence/absence. However, predators and nutrients had an interactive effect on algal biomass and size structure. At the low nutrient level, algal-prey were dominated by edible forms and attained similar biomass regardless of zooplankton presence/absence. At the high level of enrichment, presence of zooplankton favored higher levels of algal biomass and shifted dominance to large, inedible taxa. At the termination of the experiment, I performed a series of lab-based assays on the resultant algal community in order to quantify trade-offs among algal size classes in maximal population growth rates (as a measure of competitive ability for nutrients) and susceptibility to zooplankton grazing. Assays provided support for a size-based keystone trade-off. Small size classes of algae displayed higher maximal growth rates but were more susceptible to grazing effects. Large size classes were protected from grazing but showed low rates of population growth in response to enrichment.