State Water Resources Research Institute Program
Project ID: 2012KY202B
Title: The combined effects of the herbicide atrazine and predator cues on larval dragonflies
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: KY 1st
Focus Categories: Toxic Substances, Non Point Pollution, Ecology
Keywords: predator-prey dynamics, freshwater ecology, immune investment
Principal Investigator: Fuller, Claire A.
Federal Funds: $ 4,976
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 11,779
Abstract: Organisms in natural environments are commonly exposed to both biotic and anthropogenic stressors. In aquatic systems, chemical pollutants are pervasive and the potential for interaction with biotic stressors, such as predation, is likely and the effects are relatively unknown. Research has shown that the risk of predation causes plasticity in life history traits (i.e., growth rate, energy storage, timing of metamorphosis) as well as in immune function in Odonates (damselflies and dragonflies). Atrazine is an immunosuppressant and elicits behavioral changes in individuals so the potential exists for tradeoffs to occur among life history traits and immune function particularly when combined with predation risk. The objective of the proposed research is to determine the synergistic effects of sublethal atrazine exposure and predator presence on immune investment, growth rate, and energy storage on the dragonfly larvae (Plathemis lydia) as a representative aquatic invertebrate.