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Dragonflies and DamselfliesModel Organisms for Ecological and Evolutionary Research$
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Alex Córdoba-Aguilar

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199230693

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230693.001.0001

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Life-history plasticity under time stress in damselfly larvae

Life-history plasticity under time stress in damselfly larvae

(p.39) CHAPTER 4 Life-history plasticity under time stress in damselfly larvae
Dragonflies and Damselflies

Robby Stoks

Frank Johansson

Marjan De Block

Oxford University Press

Animals often face time stress because they have to reach a certain stage before a certain time horizon (e.g., the onset of winter or pond drying). Damselflies react to time stress with a shortening of their development time, and often show compensatory growth to avoid a smaller size at metamorphosis. Behaviour (increased foraging) and digestive physiology (increased growth efficiency) underlie this life history plasticity. Both ecological and physiological costs of this accelerated life history have been shown: time-stressed larvae are less responsive to predators and hence suffer higher mortality by predation, and show larger mass loss during starvation and reduced investment in immune function and in energy storage. These costs may explain why time-stressed larvae suffer a reduced lifetime mating success in the adult stage.

Keywords:   compensatory growth, ecological costs, energy storage, immune function, physiological costs, starvation, time stress

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