The role of calcium and predation on plate morph evolution in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

Smith, C. ORCID: 0000-0003-3285-0379, Spence, R., Barber, I. ORCID: 0000-0003-3955-6674, Przybylski, M. and Wootton, R.J., 2014. The role of calcium and predation on plate morph evolution in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Ecology and Evolution, 4 (18), pp. 3550-3554. ISSN 2045-7758

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The central assumption of evolutionary theory is that natural selection drives the adaptation of populations to local environmental conditions, resulting in the evolution of adaptive phenotypes. The three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) displays remarkable phenotypic variation, offering an unusually tractable model for understanding the ecological mechanisms underpinning adaptive evolutionary change. Using populations on North Uist, Scotland we investigated the role of predation pressure and calcium limitation on the adaptive evolution of stickleback morphology and behavior. Dissolved calcium was a significant predictor of plate and spine morph, while predator abundance was not. Stickleback latency to emerge from a refuge varied with morph, with populations with highly reduced plates and spines and high predation risk less bold. Our findings support strong directional selection in three-spined stickleback evolution, driven by multiple selective agents.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Ecology and Evolution
Creators: Smith, C., Spence, R., Barber, I., Przybylski, M. and Wootton, R.J.
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Date: September 2014
Volume: 4
Number: 18
ISSN: 2045-7758
Rights: ©2014 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 26 Jun 2017 15:39
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2019 14:29

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