Behavioral Tradeoffs Between Ultraviolet Radiation and Predator Avoidance in Freshwater Snails
Venditti, Dana Mary
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Many freshwater organisms will alter their behavior due to harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) characterized by downward movements in the water column. Avoidance tactics are also seen as a response to predation risks, as seen with small aquatic snails such as Physella. This study evaluates behavioral trade-offs in Physella when both UVR and predator pressure are present within the water column. A laboratory pool environment was used to determine Physella response to each factor independently as well as the combinatory effect. Initial experimental trials showed no trade-off occurring, although predation alone significantly altered Physella behavior. Independently, snails responded to predation by moving upwards and responded to UVR by movement downwards based on the intensity of light. In the presence of both risks, however, the behavioral response was that of further downwards movement towards the predation cues. It is necessary to develop knowledge of altered organism behaviors because this could affect community structure as environmental pressures such as increased UVR develop.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2013
- F&M Theses Collection