Phenotypic Processes Triggered by Biological Invasions
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Individuals within a single population can vary widely in their phenotype e.g. in their body shape. These differences are an important source of biodiversity and they can precede evolutionary divergence within a population.
In this thesis we use the biological invasion of the zebra mussels into Swedish lakes to investigate which processes create or maintain phenotypic diversity within populations of the two native fish species perch and roach and the mussel itself. Both fishes have specially adapted body shapes that depend on whether they feed in the near-shore or open-water habitat of lakes. This habitat-specific divergence was more pronounced in lakes with zebra mussels, probably because resources in both habitats were in higher supply due to the mussels’ effects on the lakes. Divergence in perch body shapes between habitats was also higher in lakes with a higher water clarity, suggesting that visual conditions can affect the resource use and thus also the expression of a habitat-specific body shape.
When investigating the diversity of body shapes in the mussel itself we found that mussels from one lake changed their shell shape when exposed to different predators: fish predators induced a more elongated shell shape while crayfish predators induced a rounder shell. These specific shell shapes probably serve as two alternative predator defenses protecting the mussel from predation.
We conclude that the availability and use of distinct resources is an important source of diversity within populations. Abiotic conditions can play a previously underappreciated role by promoting or impairing the use of the distinct resources thus affecting the divergence. The diversity of shell shapes we found in the zebra mussels complements our study by demonstrating that not only consumer responses to resources but also resources’ responses to predators can generate phenotypic diversity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2011. , 44 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 853
Resource polymorphism, phenotypic plasticity, phenotypic divergence, anti-predator responses, Perca fluviatilis, Rutilus rutilus, Dreissena polymorpha
Research subject Biology with specialization in Limnology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-158697ISBN: 978-91-554-8157-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-158697DiVA: diva2:440802
2011-10-28, Ekmansalen, Norbyvägen 14, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
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