Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Nov 11;111(45):16035-40. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1406357111. Epub 2014 Oct 21.

Form of an evolutionary tradeoff affects eco-evolutionary dynamics in a predator-prey system.

Author information

Department of General Systems Studies, University of Tokyo, Meguro, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan;
Hakubi Center for Advanced Research, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan; and Center for Ecological Research, Kyoto University, Otsu, Shiga 520-2113, Japan.
Department of General Systems Studies, University of Tokyo, Meguro, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan;


Evolution on a time scale similar to ecological dynamics has been increasingly recognized for the last three decades. Selection mediated by ecological interactions can change heritable phenotypic variation (i.e., evolution), and evolution of traits, in turn, can affect ecological interactions. Hence, ecological and evolutionary dynamics can be tightly linked and important to predict future dynamics, but our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics is still in its infancy and there is a significant gap between theoretical predictions and empirical tests. Empirical studies have demonstrated that the presence of genetic variation can dramatically change ecological dynamics, whereas theoretical studies predict that eco-evolutionary dynamics depend on the details of the genetic variation, such as the form of a tradeoff among genotypes, which can be more important than the presence or absence of the genetic variation. Using a predator-prey (rotifer-algal) experimental system in laboratory microcosms, we studied how different forms of a tradeoff between prey defense and growth affect eco-evolutionary dynamics. Our experimental results show for the first time to our knowledge that different forms of the tradeoff produce remarkably divergent eco-evolutionary dynamics, including near fixation, near extinction, and coexistence of algal genotypes, with quantitatively different population dynamics. A mathematical model, parameterized from completely independent experiments, explains the observed dynamics. The results suggest that knowing the details of heritable trait variation and covariation within a population is essential for understanding how evolution and ecology will interact and what form of eco-evolutionary dynamics will result.


Chlorella vulgaris; allele-specific quantitative PCR; clonal models; grazing resistance; rapid evolution

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center