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Phenotypic Associations in the Bosminidae (Cladocera): Zoogeographic Patterns

W. Gary Sprules, John C. H. Carter and Charles W. Ramcharan
Limnology and Oceanography
Vol. 29, No. 1 (Jan., 1984), pp. 161-169
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2836560
Page Count: 9
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Phenotypic Associations in the Bosminidae (Cladocera): Zoogeographic Patterns
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Abstract

The hypothesis that enlarged antennules and mucrones in Bosminidae are adaptations to invertebrate predation pressure is tested in a range of physically diverse and geographically disparate lakes. In lakes with many abundant invertebrate predators, small bosminids tend to have longer mucrones, for a given body size, than they do in low-predator lakes; larger, less vulnerable bosminids show no such pattern. There is a much weaker, inverse relation between antennule length and predator abundance. Given that many of the study lakes are large and presumably ecologically complex, our data suggest not only that invertebrate predation is a considerable force in freshwater ecosystems but also that there is an enormous survival advantage for small prey species in the modification of their morphology.

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