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Trends Ecol Evol. 2016 Feb;31(2):158-170. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2015.12.011. Epub 2016 Jan 2.

Integrating Competition for Food, Hosts, or Mates via Experimental Evolution.

Author information

1
cE3c: Centre for Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Changes, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Edifício C2, 3° piso, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal.
2
ISEM, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution Montpellier, UMR 5554 (Université de Montpellier/CNRS/IRD), Place Eugène Bataillon 34095 Montpellier Cedex 05, France.
3
Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas - (EEZA, CSIC), Carretera de Sacramento s/n, La Cañada de San Urbano, 04120 Almería, Spain.
4
cE3c: Centre for Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Changes, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Edifício C2, 3° piso, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal. Electronic address: snmagalhaes@fc.ul.pt.

Abstract

Competitive interactions shape the evolution of organisms. However, often it is not clear whether competition is the driving force behind the patterns observed. The recent use of experimental evolution in competitive environments can help establish such causality. Unfortunately, this literature is scattered, as competition for food, mates, and hosts are subject areas that belong to different research fields. Here, we group these bodies of literature, extract common processes and patterns concerning the role of competition in shaping evolutionary trajectories, and suggest perspectives stemming from an integrative view of competition across these research fields. This review reinstates the power of experimental evolution in addressing the evolutionary consequences of competition, but highlights potential pitfalls in the design of such experiments.

KEYWORDS:

character displacement; coinfection; male–male competition; selection experiments; sexual selection; virulence

PMID:
26753782
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2015.12.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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