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No evidence that stickleback spines directly increase risk of predation by an invertebrate predator
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Population and Conservation Biology.
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2013 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology Research, ISSN 1522-0613, Vol. 15, no 2, 189-198 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Some populations of stickleback have a reduced number and/or relative size of spines. Hypothesis: Macroinvertebrate predators such as dragonfly larvae cause selective pressure against spines by capturing more stickleback with pelvic spines than stickleback that are spineless. Organisms: Ninespine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) and dragonfly larvae (Aeshna grandis). Methods: We used 10 stickleback, five with pelvic spines and five with their pelvic spines removed. We put them in containers with two dragonfly larvae. Every day for 4 days we monitored how many stickleback were captured by the larvae. We repeated this experiment ten times at two different densities of fish and predators. We also developed a model to determine whether selection for spinelessness can be distinguished from drift. Results: Dragonfly larvae caught as many stickleback with spines as without. The absence of spines was not associated with a decrease in predation risk. We substituted Bayesian estimates of the selection coefficient into quantitative genetic models of allele frequency change, and the results of the models suggest that the selective advantage of spine loss is so small that its effects cannot be distinguished from drift.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 15, no 2, 189-198 p.
Keyword [en]
Aeshna, dragonfly larvae, Pungitius, morphological defence, predation, prey capture, stickleback
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-206672ISI: 000322366400005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-206672DiVA: diva2:645042
Available from: 2013-09-03 Created: 2013-09-02 Last updated: 2013-09-03Bibliographically approved

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