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Variation in the Flexibility of Potential Anti-Predator Behaviours among Larval Damselflies

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dc.contributor.advisor Robinson, Beren Brown, Allison 2013-01-31T21:04:48Z 2013-01-31T21:04:48Z 2013-01 2013-01-15 2013-01-31
dc.description.abstract Heterogeneous environments play an important role in the evolution of traits when selection is diversifying between different conditions. One response is the capacity of individuals to beneficially adjust their phenotype to local conditions, such as different predators. In larval Enallagma damselflies, diversifying selection from predatory dragonfly larvae or predatory fish favours opposing traits, respectively high or low levels of activity, and so appears to drive the adaptive divergence of anti-predator specialists. However, little work has addressed: i) if anti-predator generalist species exist; ii) if anti-predator generalist species express adaptive flexible behaviour; iii) if adaptive flexible behaviour is influenced by prior experience with predators. I compared individual larval behaviour in the presence of fish, dragonfly larvae, or no predators, in four Enallagma species groups from ponds with and without fish predators. Ecological distributions suggest variation in degree of anti-predator generalization, and this was associated with increased responsiveness to predator treatment in the most likely ecological generalist. Responses to predators varied across different behaviours and sometimes were shaped by prior predation experience. Thus, a variety of adaptive strategies may have evolved to cope with heterogeneity in predation risk in larval damselflies. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NSERC, OGS en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights.uri *
dc.subject Anti-predator behaviour en_US
dc.subject Damselflies en_US
dc.subject Behavioural responses to predators en_US
dc.subject Enallagma en_US
dc.subject Generalists en_US
dc.subject Specialists en_US
dc.subject Heterogeneous environments en_US
dc.title Variation in the Flexibility of Potential Anti-Predator Behaviours among Larval Damselflies en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Integrative Biology en_US Master of Science en_US Department of Integrative Biology en_US
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