Recognizing the enemy: do predator cues influence hatching in Neotropical annual killifish?
|Year of publication||2021|
|Type||Article in Periodical|
|Magazine / Source||Journal of Fish Biology|
|MU Faculty or unit|
|Keywords||Austrolebias; embryo development; hatching; temporary ponds; temporary wetlands|
|Description||Annual fish species have evolved complex adaptations to survive in temporary wetlands. The main adaptation of these fish is the ability to produce embryos that survive dry periods. Embryo development of this fish can show variation at multiple levels influenced by many environmental factors, such as photoperiod and temperature. Predator cues are another factor that can influence the embryonic stage. One way in which annual fish could adapt to predators is by using risk-spreading strategies (through bet-hedging). Nonetheless, this strategy depends on the coevolutionary history between predators and preys and on the degree of environmental unpredictability, resulting in different responses across different species. This study investigated the influence of predator cues on the embryonic development and hatching of two Austrolebias species that inhabit ponds that present differences in hydroperiod and the risk of predator presence. The results confirmed a differentiated response between the two annual fish species tested, corroborating the modulation of hatching against the risk of predation by native predatory fish. The authors further showed that development times varied between the two annual fish species, regardless of the presence of predators. They highlight that the variation in embryonic development is strongly affected by different levels of hydroperiod unpredictability faced by the two species. To unravel finer-scale local adaptations in the annual fish embryo development, future studies should focus on a region with greater spatial gradient.|