Anticipatory maternal effects in two different clones of Daphnia magna in response to food shortage
Journal of Limnology
The effects of food shortage on growth, fecundity, male production and offspring size and starvation tolerance in two different clones of Daphnia magna (Clone L and Clone P) were evaluated by disentangling the effects of resource depletion and crowding per se. Three experimental conditions were tested: high food -low daphnid density (the optimum), low food -low daphnid density and high food -high daphnid density. In the two first conditions, daphnids experienced the same population density but
... lation density but they had different food availability. In the two latter conditions, daphnids had the same per capita, low, food availability but they lived at different algae and daphnid densities. Moreover, the response of crowded females to recovery at high food availability and low population density was evaluated. Low food availability reduced growth and fecundity of both clones and increased male production only in the Clone L. Crowding per se did not affect growth but reduced fecundity. In both clones, low food availability due to low algae density enhanced investment in offspring size and resistance to starvation. In response to food shortage either due to low algae density and to crowding, Clone P increased the investment in offspring size and starvation tolerance but reduced fecundity to a lesser extent than Clone L and did not produce males. Clone L, in response to food shortage due to crowding at high algae density, increased development time, produced more males, as at low algae density, but halved fecundity producing offspring that were not starvationtolerant. These results might reflect differences in anticipatory maternal effects between clones and suggest that neonate quality varies according to either, the environment the mother experienced and the competitive environment the neonates will cope due to their mother life strategy.