uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Niche Specialization Influences Adaptive Phenotypic Plasticity in the Threespine Stickleback
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
2012 (English)In: American Naturalist, ISSN 0003-0147, E-ISSN 1537-5323, Vol. 180, no 1, 50-59 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Phenotypic plasticity may be favored in generalist populations if it increases niche width, even in temporally constant environments. Phenotypic plasticity can increase the frequency of extreme phenotypes in a population and thus allow it to make use of a wide resource spectrum. Here we test the prediction that generalist populations should be more plastic than specialists. In a common-garden experiment, we show that solitary, generalist populations of threespine sticklebacks inhabiting small coastal lakes of British Columbia have a higher degree of morphological plasticity than the more specialized sympatric limnetic and benthic species. The ancestral marine stickleback showed low levels of plasticity similar to those of sympatric sticklebacks, implying that the greater plasticity of the generalist population has evolved recently. Measurements of wild populations show that those with mean trait values intermediate between the benthic and limnetic values indeed have higher morphological variation. Our data indicate that plasticity can evolve rapidly after colonization of a new environment in response to changing niche use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 180, no 1, 50-59 p.
Keyword [en]
phenotypic plasticity, adaptation, niche variation hypothesis, character displacement, evolution.
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-192551DOI: 10.1086/666000OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-192551DiVA: diva2:599963
Available from: 2013-01-22 Created: 2013-01-22 Last updated: 2013-02-07Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full texthttp://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/666000

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Svanbäck, Richard
By organisation
In the same journal
American Naturalist
Biological Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 173 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link