Diverging responses to threats across generations in zooplankton

Yongcui Sha, Sylvie V.M. Tesson, Lars Anders Hansson

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4 Citations (SciVal)
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Our understanding on how organisms evolutionarily cope with simultaneously occurring, multiple threats over generations is still elusive. In a long-term experimental study, we therefore exposed clones of a freshwater cladoceran, Daphnia magna, to threats from predation and ultraviolet radiation (UVR) during three consecutive parthenogenetic generations. We show that Daphnia can adapt to different sets of threats within three generations through modifying morphology, swimming behavior, or life-history traits. When faced with predator cues, D. magna responded with reduced body size, whereas exposure to UVR induced behavioral tolerance when again exposed to this threat. Such UVR-tolerant behavior was initially associated with a reduced clutch size, but Daphnia restored the reproductive output gradually through generations. The findings advance our understanding on how those common invertebrates, with a global distribution, are able to persist and rapidly become successful in a changing environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere03145
Issue number11
Early online date2020 Aug 1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Evolutionary Biology


  • adaptation
  • Daphnia magna
  • multiple threats
  • predation
  • transgenerational plasticity
  • ultraviolet radiation


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