Ecological speciation and phenotypic plasticity affect ecosystems

Lundsgaard-Hansen, Bänz; Matthews, Blake; Seehausen, Ole (2014). Ecological speciation and phenotypic plasticity affect ecosystems. Ecology, 95(10), pp. 2723-2735. Ecological Society of America 10.1890/13-2338.1

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Phenotypic differences among closely related populations and species can cause contrasting effects on ecosystems; however, it is unknown whether such effects result from genetic divergence, phenotypic plasticity, or both. To test this, we reared sympatric limnetic and benthic species of whitefish from a young adaptive radiation in a common garden, where the benthic species was raised on two distinct food types. We then used these fish in a mesocosm experiment to test for contrasting ecosystem effects of closely related species and of plastically induced differences within a species. We found that strong contrasting ecosystem effects resulted more frequently from genetic divergence, although they were not stronger overall than those resulting from phenotypic plasticity. Overall, our results provide evidence that genetically based differences among closely related species that evolved during a young adaptive radiation can affect ecosystems, and that phenotypic plasticity can modify the ecosystem effects of such species.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Aquatic Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Seehausen, Ole

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0012-9658

Publisher:

Ecological Society of America

Language:

English

Submitter:

Marcel Häsler

Date Deposited:

20 Jul 2015 16:11

Last Modified:

20 Jul 2015 16:11

Publisher DOI:

10.1890/13-2338.1

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.70364

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/70364

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