Predation risk, phenotypic plasticity and life history traits

We developed a suite of experiments to test how predator cues (i.e. snake) change lizards phenotypic traits across several generations with subsequent repercussions on their population and community. We show that predation risk change female choice for male partners and modifies offspring  phenotype (i.e. tail length, activity, thermal preference, dispersal behaviour) through maternal and grand-maternal effects.  This transgenerational information is then balanced with personal information (i.e. information acquired during a lifetime) and social information (i.e. others’ personal information available to conspecifics) to improve individuals’ survival in a landscape of fear. We are now studying genetic mechanisms of antipredator responses and chemical processes involved in social information.

Collaborators: L. Winandy, L. Di Gesu, F. Pellerin, E. Bestion, D. Legrand

Project status: Still going on

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