Population Differences in Effects of Fish on Physa integra Refuge Use

  • Bernot R
  • Whittinghill K
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Abstract

Prey populations exposed to different sets of predators often adopt distinct antipredator behaviors. We investigated the refuge use of a freshwater pulmonate snail, Physa integra, in the presence and absence of fish predators. Over 80% of snails in sites with fish used refuge, while only 50% used refuge in sites without fish. Snails in sites with fish were also significantly smaller than snails in sites without fish. In a laboratory experiment, the presence of fish did not alter the habitat use of snails collected from a no-fish site, whereas snails collected from a site with fish used refuge when exposed to predation risk. These results support the hypothesis that P. integra exhibit local behavioral adaptations to their predator regime.

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Authors

  • Randall J. Bernot

  • Kyle Whittinghill

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