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Biol Lett. 2010 Apr 23;6(2):222-4. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0726. Epub 2009 Oct 21.

Inbreeding depression in adaptive plasticity under predation risk in a freshwater snail.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 4249 5th Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA. josh.auld@cefe.cnrs.fr

Abstract

While much attention has been paid to the effects of inbreeding on fitness, this has mostly come from a genetic perspective. Consequently, the interaction between inbreeding and the environment is less well understood. To understand the effects of inbreeding in natural populations where environmental conditions are variable, we need to examine not only how the effects of inbreeding change among environments but also how inbreeding may affect the ability to respond to environmental conditions (i.e. phenotypic plasticity). We reared selfed and outcrossed hermaphroditic snails (Physa acuta) in the presence and absence of chemical cues from predatory crayfish and quantified expression of an inducible defence, an adaptively plastic response to predation risk. Overall, inbred snails exhibited reduced defences, but more importantly, inbreeding reduced the expression of predator-induced adaptive plasticity. Inbreeding depression in defensive morphology was 26 per cent and inbreeding depression in the plasticity of this trait was 48 per cent. Inbreeding depression in adaptive plasticity may be important to understanding the effects of inbreeding in nature.

PMID:
19846447
PMCID:
PMC2865055
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2009.0726
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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