Data from: Right phenotype, wrong place: predator-induced plasticity is costly in a mismatched environment
Innes-Gold, Anne; Zuczek, Nicholas; Touchon, Justin (2019), Data from: Right phenotype, wrong place: predator-induced plasticity is costly in a mismatched environment, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1vhhmgqnw
Like many animals, tadpoles often produce different, predator-specific phenotypes when exposed to risk of predation. It is generally assumed that such plasticity enhances survival in the presence of the predator and is costly elsewhere, but evidence remains surprisingly scarce. We measured 1) the survival trade-off of opposing phenotypes developed by Dendropsophus ebraccatus tadpoles when exposed to different predators and 2) which specific aspects of morphology drive any potential survival benefit or cost. Tadpoles developed predator specific phenotypes after being reared with caged fish or dragonfly predators for two weeks. In 24-hour predation trials with either a fish or a dragonfly, survival was highest in the groups with their matched predator, and lowest among with those the mismatched predator, with predator-naïve controls being relatively intermediate. Then, using a large group of phenotypically variable predator-naïve tadpoles, we found that increased survival rates are directly related to the morphological changes that are induced by each predator. This demonstrates that induced phenotypes are indeed adaptive and the product of natural selection. Furthermore, our data provide clear evidence of an environmental cost for phenotypic plasticity in a heterogeneous environment. Such costs are fundamental for understanding the evolution and maintenance of inducible phenotypes.
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