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Title: Effects of resource-dependent cannibalism on population size distribution and individual life history in a case-bearing caddisfly
Authors: Okano, Jun-ichi
Okuda, Noboru
Author's alias: 岡野, 淳一
奥田, 昇
Issue Date: 21-Feb-2018
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Journal title: PLOS ONE
Volume: 13
Issue: 2
Thesis number: e0191925
Abstract: Resource availability often determines the intensity of cannibalism, which has a considerable effect on population size distribution and individual life history. Larvae of the caddisfly Psilotreta kisoensis build portable cases from sedimentary sands and often display cannibalism. For this species, the availability of preferable case material is a critical factor that affects larval fitness, and material is locally variable depending on the underlying geology. In this study, we investigated how sand quality as a case material determines cannibalism frequency among larvae and, in turn, how the differential cannibalism frequency affects the body-size distribution and voltinism. Rearing experiments within a cohort revealed that a bimodal size distribution developed regardless of material quality. However, as the preferable material became abundant, the proportion of larger to smaller individuals increased. Consecutive experiments suggested that smaller larvae were more frequently cannibalized by larger ones and excluded from the population when preferable smooth material was abundant. This frequent cannibalism resulted in a bimodal size distribution with a significantly higher proportion of larger compared to smaller individuals. The size-dependent cannibalism was significantly suppressed when the larvae were raised in an environment with a scarcity of the preferable case material. This is probably because larvae cannot enjoy the benefit of rapid growth by cannibalism due to the difficulties in enlarging their case. At low cannibalism the growth of smaller individuals was stunted, and this was probably due to risk of cannibalism by larger individuals. This growth reduction in small individuals led to a bimodal size-distribution but with a lower proportion of larger to smaller individuals compared to at high cannibalism. A field study in two streams showed a similar size distribution of larvae as was found in the rearing experiment. The bimodal ratio has consequences for life history, since a size-bimodal population causes a cohort splitting: only larvae that were fully grown at 1 year had a univoltine life cycle, whereas larvae with a stunted growth continued their larval life for another year (semivoltine). This study suggests that availability of preferable case building material is an important factor that affects cannibalism, which in turn affects larval population size structure and cohort splitting.
Rights: © 2018 Okano, Okuda. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI(Published Version): 10.1371/journal.pone.0191925
PubMed ID: 29466375
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