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Rapid evolution of constitutive and inducible defenses against an invasive predator
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6748-966X
2014 (English)In: Ecology, ISSN 0012-9658, E-ISSN 1939-9170, Vol. 95, no 6, 1520-1530 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Invasive alien predators can impose strong selection on native prey populations and induce rapid evolutionary change in the invaded communities. However, studies on evolutionary responses to invasive predators are often complicated by the lack of replicate populations differing in coexistence time with the predator, which would allow the determination of how prey traits change during the invasion. The red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii has invaded many freshwater areas worldwide, with negative impacts for native fauna. Here, we examined how coexistence time shapes antipredator responses of the Iberian waterfrog (Pelophylax perezi) to the invasive crayfish by raising tadpoles from five populations differing in historical exposure to P. clarkii (30 years, 20 years, or no coexistence). Tadpoles from non-invaded populations responded to the presence of P. clarkii with behavioral plasticity (reduced activity), whereas long-term invaded populations showed canalized antipredator behavior (constant low activity level). Tadpoles from one of the long-term invaded populations responded to the crayfish with inducible morphological defenses (deeper tails), reflecting the use of both constitutive and inducible antipredator defenses against the exotic predator by this population. Our results suggest that, while naive P. perezi populations responded behaviorally to P. clarkii, the strong predation pressure imposed by the crayfish has induced the evolution of qualitatively different antipredator defenses in populations with longer coexistence time. These responses suggest that strong selection by invasive predators may drive rapid evolutionary change in invaded communities. Examining responses of prey species to biological invasions using multiple populations will help us better forecast the impact of invasive predators in natural communities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 95, no 6, 1520-1530 p.
Keyword [en]
coexistence time, invasive predator, Pelophylax perezi, plastic and constitutive defenses, population, predator recognition, Procambarus clarkii, rapid evolution
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-228543DOI: 10.1890/13-1380.1ISI: 000337218500011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-228543DiVA: diva2:734466
Available from: 2014-07-17 Created: 2014-07-16 Last updated: 2015-11-05Bibliographically approved

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