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Evolution. 2010 Jun;64(6):1583-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00922.x. Epub 2009 Dec 10.

Influence of the indirect effects of guppies on life-history evolution in Rivulus hartii.

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Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA.


Early theories of life-history evolution predict that increased predation on young/small individuals selects for delayed maturation and decreased reproductive effort, but such theory only considers changes in mortality. Predators reduce prey abundance and increase food to survivors. Theory that incorporates such indirect effects yields different predictions. Trinidadian killifish, Rivulus hartii, inhabit communities with and without guppies. Guppies prey on young Rivulus and Rivulus densities decline and growth rates increase when guppies are present. Prior work showed that Rivulus phenotypes from communities with guppies matured earlier and had higher fecundity, consistent with theories that incorporate indirect effects. Here we examined the genetic basis of these differences by rearing 2nd generation, laboratory-born Rivulus from sites with and without guppies under two food levels that match natural differences in growth. Many locality x food interactions were significant, often reversing the relationship between communities. Such interactions imply that there are fitness trade-offs associated with adaptation to high or low resource environments. On high food, Rivulus from localities with guppies matured earlier, produced many small eggs, and exhibited increased reproductive investment; these differences reversed on low food. Our results suggest that indirect effects mold Rivulus evolution and thereby highlight connections between community processes and evolutionary change.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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