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The Rate of degradation of chemical cues indicating predation risk: An experiment and review


Van Buskirk, Josh; Krügel, Andri; Kunz, Julia; Miss, Fabia; Stamm, Alba (2014). The Rate of degradation of chemical cues indicating predation risk: An experiment and review. Ethology, 120(9):942-949.

Abstract

Many prey taxa use kairomones or alarm pheromones to assess the risk of predation in aquatic environments, and the rate at which these cues attenuate determines how precisely they indicate the local density of predators. We estimated the rate of degradation of chemical cues generated by Aeshna dragonfly larvae feeding on Rana temporaria tadpoles. The half-life of the cue was 35 h and was not influenced by whether it was aged in pond water or tap water or whether other tadpoles were present in the container in which cue-aging occurred. A review of other published estimates of predator cue half-life revealed values of 0.2–126 h, and variation among studies was unrelated to the type of aging water, the venue in which water was aged or prey behavior observed (laboratory, field), or the type of behavior that was recorded. We conclude that factors affecting the persistence of predator cues remain uncertain in spite of their importance for understanding the evolution of induced defenses.

Abstract

Many prey taxa use kairomones or alarm pheromones to assess the risk of predation in aquatic environments, and the rate at which these cues attenuate determines how precisely they indicate the local density of predators. We estimated the rate of degradation of chemical cues generated by Aeshna dragonfly larvae feeding on Rana temporaria tadpoles. The half-life of the cue was 35 h and was not influenced by whether it was aged in pond water or tap water or whether other tadpoles were present in the container in which cue-aging occurred. A review of other published estimates of predator cue half-life revealed values of 0.2–126 h, and variation among studies was unrelated to the type of aging water, the venue in which water was aged or prey behavior observed (laboratory, field), or the type of behavior that was recorded. We conclude that factors affecting the persistence of predator cues remain uncertain in spite of their importance for understanding the evolution of induced defenses.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:30 Oct 2014 09:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:26
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0179-1613
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/eth.12266

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