Morphological and life-history responses of anurans to predation by an invasive crayfish: an integrative approach
2014 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 4, no 8, 1491-1503 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity has been widely documented in response to native predators, but studies examining the extent to which prey can respond to exotic invasive predators are scarce. As native prey often do not share a long evolutionary history with invasive predators, they may lack defenses against them. This can lead to population declines and even extinctions, making exotic predators a serious threat to biodiversity. Here, in a community-wide study, we examined the morphological and life-history responses of anuran larvae reared with the invasive red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, feeding on conspecific tadpoles. We reared tadpoles of nine species until metamorphosis and examined responses in terms of larval morphology, growth, and development, as well as their degree of phenotypic integration. These responses were compared with the ones developed in the presence of a native predator, the larval dragonfly Aeshna sp., also feeding on tadpoles. Eight of the nine species altered their morphology or life history when reared with the fed dragonfly, but only four when reared with the fed crayfish, suggesting among-species variation in the ability to respond to a novel predator. While morphological defenses were generally similar across species (deeper tails) and almost exclusively elicited in the presence of the fed dragonfly, life-history responses were very variable and commonly elicited in the presence of the invasive crayfish. Phenotypes induced in the presence of dragonfly were more integrated than in crayfish presence. The lack of response to the presence of the fed crayfish in five of the study species suggests higher risk of local extinction and ultimately reduced diversity of the invaded amphibian communities. Understanding how native prey species vary in their responses to invasive predators is important in predicting the impacts caused by newly established predator-prey interactions following biological invasions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 4, no 8, 1491-1503 p.
Crayfish, integration of responses, invasive species, phenotypic plasticity, tadpoles
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-225075DOI: 10.1002/ece3.979ISI: 000334601100019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-225075DiVA: diva2:727237