Environmental stress and local adaptation in Daphnia magna

Boersma, Maarten, Luc De Meester, Piet Spaak

Limnol. Oceanogr., 44(2), 1999, 393-402 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.1999.44.2.0393

ABSTRACT: The effects of fish kairomones, crowding chemicals, and day length on the life-history traits of a set of 16 Daphnia magna clones, derived from four populations that differ in fish-predation pressure, were studied. Significant among-population differences were observed, the differences being in concordance with the hypothesis of local adaptation. The among-population genetic differences were not mediated through a change in response to fish kairomones, but through an overall smaller body size, smaller eggs, and a higher number of eggs in clones derived from habitats in which fish are present. Using a model, we show that the observed changes in life-history characteristics may lead to differences in fitness under different predation regimes, such that populations from habitats with fish have highest fitness under fish-predation regimes and populations without a fish background have higher fitness values under invertebrate predation regimes.

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