Testing hypotheses for maternal effects in Daphnia magna

Christina Coakley, Eleni Nestoros, Thomas Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Maternal effects are widely observed, but their adaptive nature remains difficult to describe and interpret. We investigated adaptive maternal effects in a clone of the crustacean Daphnia magna, experimentally varying both maternal age and maternal food and subsequently varying food available to offspring. We had two main predictions: that offspring in a food environment matched to their mothers should fare better than offspring in unmatched environments, and that offspring of older mothers would fare better in low food environments. We detected numerous maternal effects, for example offspring of poorly fed mothers were large, while offspring of older mothers were both large and showed an earlier age at first reproduction. However, these maternal effects did not clearly translate into the predicted differences in reproduction. Thus, our predictions about adaptive maternal effects in response to food variation were not met in this genotype of Daphnia magna.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number2
Early online date8 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2018


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