Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2012KY202B

The combined effects of the herbicide atrazine and predator cues on larval dragonflies

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-03-01 End Date: 2013-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $4,976 Total Non-Federal Funds: $11,779

Principal Investigators: Claire Fuller

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.