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Data from: Low-latitude zooplankton pigmentation plasticity in response to multiple threats

Citation

Lee, Marcus et al. (2019), Data from: Low-latitude zooplankton pigmentation plasticity in response to multiple threats, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bd4486s

Abstract

Crustacean copepods in high-latitude lakes frequently alter their pigmentation facultatively to defend themselves against prevailing threats, such as solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and visually-oriented predators. Strong seasonality in those environments promotes phenotypic plasticity. To date, no one has investigated whether low-latitude copepods, experiencing continuous stress from UVR and predation threats, exhibit similar inducible defences. We here investigated the pigmentation levels of Bahamian ‘blue hole’ copepods, addressing this deficit. Examining several populations varying in predation risk, we found the lowest levels of pigmentation in the population experiencing the highest predation pressure. In a laboratory experiment, we found that, in contrast to our predictions, copepods from these relatively constant environments did show some changes in pigmentation subsequent to removal of UVR; however, exposure to water from different predation regimes induced minor and idiosyncratic pigmentation changes. Our findings suggest low-latitude zooplankton in inland environments may exhibit reduced, but non-zero, levels of phenotypic plasticity compared to their high-latitude counterparts.

Usage Notes

Location

Andros Island