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Trends Ecol Evol. 2008 Aug;23(8):419-21. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2008.04.006. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

A behavioral perspective on fishing-induced evolution.


The potential for excessive and/or selective fishing to act as an evolutionary force has been emphasized recently. However, most studies have focused on evolution of life-history traits in response to size-selective harvesting. Here we draw attention to fishing-induced evolution of behavioral and underlying physiological traits. We contend that fishing-induced selection directly acting on behavioral rather than on life-history traits per se can be expected in all fisheries that operate with passive gears such as trapping, angling and gill-netting. Recent artificial selection experiments in the nest-guarding largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides suggest that fishing-induced evolution of behavioral traits that reduce exposure to fishing gear might be maladaptive, potentially reducing natural recruitment. To improve understanding and management of fisheries-induced evolution, we encourage greater application of methods from behavioral ecology, physiological ecology and behavioral genetics.

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