Present address: Unité d’Ecologie et d’Evolution, Département de Biologie, Université de Fribourg, Chemin du Museé 10, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.
PREDATOR-INDUCED DEFENSE MAKES DAPHNIA MORE VULNERABLE TO PARASITES
Article first published online: 22 FEB 2011
© 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 65, Issue 5, pages 1482–1488, May 2011
How to Cite
Yin, M., Laforsch, C., Lohr, J. N. and Wolinska, J. (2011), PREDATOR-INDUCED DEFENSE MAKES DAPHNIA MORE VULNERABLE TO PARASITES. Evolution, 65: 1482–1488. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01240.x
- Issue published online: 26 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 22 FEB 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 1 FEB 2011 07:49AM EST
- Received September 16, 2010, Accepted January 10, 2011
- Inducible defenses;
- phenotypic plasticity
Inducible defensive traits against herbivores or predators are widespread in plants and animals. Theory predicts that defended morphs have greater fitness in the presence of predators, but lower fitness than undefended morphs in the absence of predators. If such costs did not exist, then a constitutively defended morph would be favored by natural selection; yet, evidence for such costs has been elusive. Our current work reveals a significant cost to inducible defenses. Using the waterflea (Daphnia) model system, we show that induced defended morphs are significantly more vulnerable to infection by a virulent yeast parasite than undefended morphs. In two independent experiments, the proportion of successful infections and the number of parasite spores were higher among defended versus undefended Daphnia. Thus, by demonstrating a previously unknown and environmentally relevant cost to inducible defenses, this study enhances our understanding of adaptive phenotypic plasticity and its evolution.