Availability of prey resources drives evolution of predator-prey interaction

Ville-Petri Friman, Teppo Hiltunen, Jouni Laakso, Veijo Kaitala

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    Productivity is predicted to drive the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of predator-prey interaction through changes in resource allocation between different traits. Here we report results of an evolutionary experiment where prey bacteria Serratia marcescens was exposed to predatory protozoa Tetrahymena thermophila in low- and high-resource environments for approximately 2400 prey generations. Predation generally increased prey allocation to defence and caused prey selection lines to become more diverse. On average, prey became most defensive in the high-resource environment and suffered from reduced resource use ability more in the low-resource environment. As a result, the evolution of stronger prey defence in the high-resource environment led to a strong decrease in predator-to-prey ratio. Predation increased temporal variability of populations and traits of prey. However, this destabilizing effect was less pronounced in the high-resource environment. Our results demonstrate that prey resource availability can shape the trade-off allocation of prey traits, which in turn affects multiple properties of the evolving predator-prey system.
    Originalspråkengelska
    TidskriftProceedings of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences
    Volym275
    Utgåva1643
    Sidor (från-till)1625-1633
    Antal sidor9
    ISSN0962-8452
    DOI
    StatusPublicerad - 2008
    MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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