Life history trade-offs and stress tolerance in green hydra (Hydra viridissima Pallas 1766): the importance of nutritional status and perceived population density

Jácint Tökölyi, Márta E. Rosa, Flóra Bradács, Z. Barta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Clonally reproducing animals, such as freshwater hydra, can achieve very quick population growth, potentially resulting in high density when dispersal is limited. The reproductive value of any offspring produced clonally in such a high density population is low because of the strong competition for food. Therefore, animals experiencing such conditions should allocate their resources to self-maintenance, to increase survival chances. Increased allocation to self-maintenance in turn should enable animals to withstand higher levels of genotoxic stress. To test this prediction, we exposed green hydra (Hydra viridissima Pallas 1766) to a perceived high density (by keeping them in crowded culture medium) or low density (fresh culture medium) without altering food availability. We also manipulated nutritional status (by starving animals for different time periods) and previous exposure to mild stress in a full factorial experimental design. At the end of the experiment we exposed animals to a high concentration of hydrogen-peroxide and scored stress tolerance. We found that stress tolerance is greatly elevated in animals perceiving high density, confirming our prediction. Stress tolerance decreased in animals starved for a few days, suggesting that the ability to maintain an elevated stress tolerance function has nutritional costs and is possible only when resource availability is high. On the other hand, previous exposure to mild stress had a small effect on the ability to tolerate subsequent exposure to stress, and only in the low density treatment group. Thus, stress tolerance in hydra is dynamically modulated in response to social, environmental and nutritional cues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-876
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Research
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Hydra
nutritional status
stress tolerance
population density
life history
tolerance
animal
animals
culture media
prediction
food availability
hydrogen peroxide
population growth
resource availability
experimental design
food

Keywords

  • Asexual reproduction
  • Density dependence
  • Life-history evolution
  • Oxidative stress
  • Somatic maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Life history trade-offs and stress tolerance in green hydra (Hydra viridissima Pallas 1766) : the importance of nutritional status and perceived population density. / Tökölyi, Jácint; Rosa, Márta E.; Bradács, Flóra; Barta, Z.

In: Ecological Research, Vol. 29, No. 5, 2014, p. 867-876.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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