Phenotypic plasticity in defensive traits is an appropriate mechanism to cope with the variable hazard of a frequently changing predator spectrum. In the animal kingdom these so-called inducible defences cover the entire taxonomic range from protozoans to vertebrates. The inducible defensive traits range from behaviour, morphology, and life-history adaptations to the activation of specific immune systems in vertebrates. Inducible defences in prey species play important roles in the dynamics and functioning of food webs. Freshwater zooplankton show the most prominent examples of inducible defences triggered by chemical cues, so-called kairomones, released by predatory invertebrates and fish. The objective of this review is to highlight recent progress in research on inducible defences in freshwater zooplankton concerning behaviour, morphology, and life-history, as well as difficulties of studies conducted in a multipredator set up. Furthermore, we outline costs associated with the defences and discuss difficulties as well as the progress made in characterizing defence-inducing cues. Finally, we aim to indicate further possible routes in this field of research and provide a comprehensive table of inducible defences with respect to both prey and predator species.
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