Phenotypically plastic responses to predation risk are temperature dependent

Thomas M. Luhring, Janna M. Vavra, Clayton E. Cressler, John P. DeLong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Predicting how organisms respond to climate change requires that we understand the temperature dependence of fitness in relevant ecological contexts (e.g., with or without predation risk). Predation risk often induces changes to life history traits that are themselves temperature dependent. We explore how perceived predation risk and temperature interact to determine fitness (indicated by the intrinsic rate of increase, r) through changes to its underlying components (net reproductive rate, generation time, and survival) in Daphnia magna. We exposed Daphnia to predation cues from dragonfly naiads early, late, or throughout their ontogeny. Predation risk increased r differentially across temperatures and depending on the timing of exposure to predation cues. The timing of predation risk likewise altered the temperature-dependent response of T and R0. Daphnia at hotter temperatures responded to predation risk by increasing r through a combination of increased R0 and decreased T that together countered an increase in mortality rate. However, only D. magna that experienced predation cues early in ontogeny showed elevated r at colder temperatures. These results highlight the fact that phenotypically plastic responses of life history traits to predation risk can be strongly temperature dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-719
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Climate change
  • Fecundity
  • Life history
  • Mortality
  • Reproduction
  • Survivorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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