Fish kairomone regulation of internal swarm structure in Daphnia pulex (Cladocera: Crustacea)

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Abstract

In this laboratory experiment, swarms of D. pulex were artificially created by placing thirty individuals in small chambers containing 130 ml of water. The swimming behaviour of the animals was measured using a video camera and a programme to digitize observations. The D. pulex swimming in water with fish kairomones had a more uniform swimming speed compared with animals in control water. If aggregated prey individuals benefit from a reduced predation risk, and this risk is further reduced by uniformity of swarm members, the uniformity of swimming speed can be interpreted as an behavioural adjustment to minimize the vulnerability to predation.

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