Compensatory growth following transient intraguild predation risk in predatory mites

Author(s)
Andreas Walzer, Natalia Lepp, Peter Schausberger
Abstract

Compensatory or catch-up growth following growth impairment caused by transient environmental stress, due to adverse abiotic factors or food, is widespread in animals. Such growth strategies commonly balance retarded development and reduced growth. They depend on the type of stressor but are unknown for predation risk, a prime selective force shaping life history. Anti-predator behaviours by immature prey typically come at the cost of reduced growth rates with potential negative consequences on age and size at maturity. Here, we investigated the hypothesis that transient intraguild predation (IGP) risk induces compensatory or catch-up growth in the plant-inhabiting predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. Immature P. persimilis were exposed in the larval stage to no, low or high IGP risk, and kept under benign conditions in the next developmental stage, the protonymph. High but not low IGP risk prolonged development of P. persimilis larvae, which was compensated in the protonymphal stage by increased foraging activity and accelerated development, resulting in optimal age and size at maturity. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that prey may balance developmental costs accruing from anti-predator behaviour by compensatory growth.

Organisation(s)
External organisation(s)
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Petersburg State Agrarian University
Journal
Oikos: a journal of ecology
Volume
124
Pages
603-609
No. of pages
7
ISSN
0030-1299
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.01687
Publication date
05-2015
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106047 Animal ecology, 106054 Zoology, 106051 Behavioural biology, 106048 Animal physiology
Keywords
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/compensatory-growth-following-transient-intraguild-predation-risk-in-predatory-mites(8cebe57e-9410-4303-995b-6bbbf4f03d4e).html