Predation and resource fluctuations drive eco-evolutionary dynamics of a bacterial community

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

    Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


    Predation and temporal resource availability are among the most important factors determining prey community dynamics and composition. Both factors have been shown to affect prey diversity, but less is known about their interactive effects, especially in rapidly evolving prey communities. In a laboratory microcosm experiment, we manipulated the presence of the predatory protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila and the temporal patterns in the availability of resources for a bacterial prey community. We found that both predation and temporal fluctuations in prey resources resulted in a more even prey community, and these factors also interacted so that the effect of predation was only seen in a fluctuating environment. One possible explanation for this finding could be differences in prey species grazing
    resistance and resource use abilities, which likely had the greatest effect on prey community structure in fluctuating environments with periodical resource limitation. We also found that prey communities evolved to be more grazing-resistant during the experiment, and that this effect was due to a clear increase in the grazing resistance of the bacterium Serratia marcescens. Our results demonstrate that temporal variability in prey resources and predation can promote more even prey species proportions by allowing the existence of both defensive and competitive prey life-history strategies
    TidskriftActa Oecologica
    Sidor (från-till)77-83
    Antal sidor7
    StatusPublicerad - 2012
    MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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