Rapid evolution in response to introduced predators II

Department of Biology, 5305 Old Main Hill Road, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA. <>
BMC Evolutionary Biology (Impact Factor: 3.37). 02/2007; 7(1):21. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-7-21
Source: DOAJ


Introductions of non-native species can significantly alter the selective environment for populations of native species, which can respond through phenotypic plasticity or genetic adaptation. We examined phenotypic and genetic responses of Daphnia populations to recent introductions of non-native fish to assess the relative roles of phenotypic plasticity versus genetic change in causing the observed patterns. The Daphnia community in alpine lakes throughout the Sierra Nevada of California (USA) is ideally suited for investigation of rapid adaptive evolution because there are multiple lakes with and without introduced fish predators. We conducted common-garden experiments involving presence or absence of chemical cues produced by fish and measured morphological and life-history traits in Daphnia melanica populations collected from lakes with contrasting fish stocking histories. The experiment allowed us to assess the degree of population differentiation due to fish predation and examine the contribution of adaptive plasticity in the response to predator introduction.
Our results show reductions in egg number and body size of D. melanica in response to introduced fish. These phenotypic changes have a genetic basis but are partly due to a direct response to chemical cues from fish via adaptive phenotypic plasticity. Body size showed the largest phenotypic change, on the order of nine phenotypic standard deviations, with approximately 11% of the change explained by adaptive plasticity. Both evolutionary and plastic changes in body size and egg number occurred but no changes in the timing of reproduction were observed.
Native Daphnia populations exposed to chemical cues produced by salmonid fish predators display adaptive plasticity for body size and fecundity. The magnitude of adaptive plasticity was insufficient to explain the total phenotypic change, so the realized change in phenotypic means in populations exposed to introduced fish may be the result of a combination of initial plasticity and subsequent genetic adaptation. Our results suggest that immediately following the introduction of fish predators, adaptive plasticity may reduce the impact of selection through "Baldwin/Bogert effects" by facilitating the movement of populations toward new fitness optima. Our study of the response of a native species to an introduced predator enhances our understanding of the conditions necessary for rapid adaptive evolution and the relationship between rapid evolution and adaptive phenotypic plasticity.

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    • "Interactions of plastic and evolutionary changes As phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary responses are not mutually exclusive, there has been some interest in investigating the contribution of plasticity to rapid adaptive evolution (Scoville and Pfrender 2010; Trussell and Smith 2000; Latta et al. 2007; Ghalambor et al. 2007b; Hendry et al. 2008). Several studies have showed the importance of initial plasticity (Carroll et al. 1997; Latta et al. 2007; Nylin et al. 2014; Scoville and Pfrender 2010), but only one study has successfully quantified its relative contributions to adaptive responses in a native species (Latta et al. 2007). This study found that while phenotypic plasticity was important in the early stages of adaptation, it only explained 11 % of the change in phenotype. "
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    ABSTRACT: Adaptive responses of native species are important in enabling their persistence in the face of unprecedented biotic exchange. In the present paper I discuss how native species respond to invasive species both from a mechanistic and trait-based perspective. An earlier review by Strauss et al. (Ecol Lett 9:357-374, 2006) discussed a conceptual model of native species evolution in which the likelihood of an evolutionary response to an invader is dependent upon the strength of the selective pressure imposed (degree of variation in fitness between genotypes) and the adaptive capacity of the native (extent of pre-adaptation or genetic diversity). I aim to update and build upon this framework in light of new information on the interaction of phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary processes in adaptive responses of native species. Phenotypic plasticity can be a precursor to or an inhibitor of evolutionary responses and, under conditions of strong selection, phenotypic plasticity may enable adaptation where natives have a low evolutionary capacity. Based on current evidence, it is likely that phenotypic plasticity is the first front in native species adaptation, after which genetic changes occur via a genetic accommodation mechanism. Lastly, I review the literature on behavioural, morphological, physiological and life history trait changes of responding native species in light of this framework. Knowledge of the genetic and physiological underpinnings of adaptive responses in native species is limited and would aid in distinguishing the contributions of phenotypic plasticity and evolutionary change in future studies.
    Biological Invasions 08/2015; 17(8). DOI:10.1007/s10530-015-0874-7 · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    • "Natural selection can act on the genetic variation present in a population over a number of generations, which results in a population being adapted to prevailing environmental conditions. Additionally, adaptive phenotypic change can occur within a generation, producing locally adapted phenotypes without genetic change (Doughty and Reznick 2004; Ghalambor et al. 2007; Latta et al. 2007). The marked morphological divergence between postfire resprouting types is unlikely to be a consequence of phenotypic plasticity, but rather a result of local genetic adaptation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Resprouting is a key functional trait that allows plants to survive diverse disturbances. The fitness benefits associated with resprouting include a rapid return to adult growth, early flowering, and setting seed. The resprouting responses observed following fire are varied, as are the ecological outcomes. Understanding the ecological divergence and evolutionary pathways of different resprouting types and how the environment and genetics interact to drive such morphological evolution represents an important, but under-studied, topic. In the present study, microsatellite markers and microevolutionary approaches were used to better understand: (1) whether genetic differentiation is related to morphological divergence among resprouting types and if so, whether there are any specific genetic variations associated with morphological divergence and (2) the evolutionary pathway of the transitions between two resprouting types in Banksia attenuata (epicormic resprouting from aerial stems or branch; resprouting from a underground lignotuber). The results revealed an association between population genetic differentiation and the morphological divergence of postfire resprouting types in B. attenuata. A microsatellite allele has been shown to be associated with epicormic populations. Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis revealed a likely evolutionary transition from epicormic to lignotuberous resprouting in B. attenuata. It is concluded that the postfire resprouting type in B. attenuata is likely determined by the fire's characteristics. The differentiated expression of postfire resprouting types in different environments is likely a consequence of local genetic adaptation. The capacity to shift the postfire resprouting type to adapt to diverse fire regimes is most likely the key factor explaining why B. attenuata is the most widespread member of the Banksia genus.
    Ecology and Evolution 08/2014; 4(16). DOI:10.1002/ece3.1143 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    • "Populations have been shown to genetically track environmental changes within short time spans from months to years. Rapid adaptive evolution has been reported in experimental evolution trials using algae (Bell 2013) and in selection experiments on sticklebacks (Barrett et al., 2008), has been documented from local genetic adaptation in pigmentation in Asellus aquaticus (Hargeby et al., 2005; Eroukhmanoff et al., 2009), and is a recurrent observation in studies of the water flea Daphnia, e.g. with respect to thermal adaptation (Van Doorslaer et al., 2009a; Van Doorslaer et al., 2010), resistance to pollution (Jansen et al., 2010; Jansen et al., 2011), salinity (Latta et al., 2012), UV tolerance (Miner and Kerr, 2011), parasites (Ebert, 2005; Decaestecker et al., 2007), and predation (Cousyn et al., 2001; Fisk et al., 2007, Latta et al., 2007). Van Doorslaer et al. (2009b) showed that rapid genetic adaptation reduced establishment success of preadapted , immigrant genotypes, suggesting an eco-evolutionary feedback loop that can potentially affect genetic structure of the species at the regional scale. "
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    05/2014; 73(s1). DOI:10.4081/jlimnol.2014.831
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