Thursday, March 3, 2016

Paper discussion: Plasticity and rapid multiple trait evolution

For next week's discussion (March 8) I thought it might be nice to continue the recent discussions on adaptation versus plasticity. This is an empirical paper taking a multivariate approach and is also a nice example of the cool things you can do with Daphnias. Apologies for the lengthiness of the paper.

Fika will be provided.

Tuesday, March 8, 10 am; Argumentet

Resurrecting complexity: the interplay of plasticity and rapid evolution in the multiple trait response to strong changes in predation pressure in the water flea Daphnia magna

Robby Stoks, Lynn Govaert, Kevin Pauwels, Bastiaan Jansen, Luc De Meester.

Ecology Letters 19(2), Feb 2016, pp.180–190

A resurrection ecology reconstruction of 14 morphological, life history and behavioural traits revealed that a natural Daphnia magna population rapidly tracked changes in fish predation by integrating phenotypic plasticity and widespread evolutionary changes both in mean trait values and in trait plasticity. Increased fish predation mainly generated rapid adaptive evolution of plasticity (especially in the presence of maladaptive ancestral plasticity) resulting in an important change in the magnitude and direction of the multivariate reaction norm. Subsequent relaxation of the fish predation pressure resulted in reversed phenotypic plasticity and mainly caused evolution of the trait means towards the ancestral pre-fish means. Relaxation from fish predation did, however, not result in a complete reversal to the ancestral fishless multivariate phenotype. Our study emphasises that the study population rapidly tracked environmental changes through a mosaic of plasticity, evolution of trait means and evolution of plasticity to generate integrated phenotypic changes in multiple traits.

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