Growth rate constrain morphological divergence when driven by competition
2006 (English)In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 115, no 1, 15-22 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Resource competition has been hypothesized to be important in driving divergence by natural selection. The effect of competition on morphological divergence and plasticity has however rarely been investigated. Since low growth rates might constrain morphological modulation and individual growth rates usually are negatively related to the intensity of competition, there might be a connection between competition, growth rate and morphological divergence. We performed an aquarium experiment with young-of-the-year Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) to investigate how individual growth rate affected morphological plasticity induced by contrasting habitat treatments. Furthermore, in a field study of 10 lakes we also related the degree of morphological differentiation between habitats to the intraspecific competitior biomass. In the aquarium experiment we found that morphological plasticity was growth rate dependent in that morphological differentiation between the habitat treatments was confined to high individual growth rates. In the field study we found that morphological differentiation between habitats decreased with increasing intraspecific competitior biomass. Since plasticity is hypothesized to be important in divergence and intraspecific biomass could serve as a proxy for the level of competition, we suggest that our results indicate that morphological divergence might be constrained during periods of intense intraspecific competition due to low growth rates. A possible scenario is that at low growth rates all energy available is used for metabolic maintenance and no surplus energy is therefore available for morphological modulation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 115, no 1, 15-22 p.
Research subject Limnology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-23508DOI: 10.1111/j.2006.0030-1299.14965.xISI: 000240998300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-23508DiVA: diva2:51282