Predator chemical cues increase growth and alter development in nauplii of a marine copepod

Oda Bjaerke*, Tom Andersen, Josefin Titelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Copepods are a fundamental trophic link in the marine food web. While much attention has been devoted to the role of temperature and food for copepod development and growth, little is known about how marine copepods adjust their life history according to the prevailing predation risk. This is striking, considering the potential advantage of risk-sensitive life history, and the many reports of freshwater zooplankton showing strong effects of risk cues on growth and development. Here, we measured growth and development in nauplii of the marine copepod Temora longicornis. We incubated newly hatched nauplii individually with or without a predator chemical cue. Individuals were followed and measured repeatedly over time, generating highresolution data. We estimated treatment-specific stage transition probabilities from daily molting frequencies. The nauplii showed an increased growth rate when exposed to fish kairomones. However, the corresponding response in development differed between stages, with the later naupliar stages generally displaying a higher molting probability and higher body mass (ash-free dry weight) per stage. These results suggest that development and growth in marine copepods is flexible and sensitive to predation risk. Our findings also indicate that investment in growth might be beneficial in copepods despite higher visibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2014. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Zooplankton
  • Risk
  • Life history
  • Molting
  • Plasticity


Dive into the research topics of 'Predator chemical cues increase growth and alter development in nauplii of a marine copepod'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this