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Phenotypic plasticity in response to the social environment: effects of density and sex ratio on mating behaviour following ecotype divergence.

Karlsson, Kristina LU ; Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice LU and Svensson, Erik LU (2010) In PLoS ONE 5(9).
Abstract
The ability to express phenotypically plastic responses to environmental cues might be adaptive in changing environments. We studied phenotypic plasticity in mating behaviour as a response to population density and adult sex ratio in a freshwater isopod (Asellus aquaticus). A. aquaticus has recently diverged into two distinct ecotypes, inhabiting different lake habitats (reed Phragmites australis and stonewort Chara tomentosa, respectively). In field surveys, we found that these habitats differ markedly in isopod population densities and adult sex ratios. These spatially and temporally demographic differences are likely to affect mating behaviour. We performed behavioural experiments using animals from both the ancestral ecotype ("reed"... (More)
The ability to express phenotypically plastic responses to environmental cues might be adaptive in changing environments. We studied phenotypic plasticity in mating behaviour as a response to population density and adult sex ratio in a freshwater isopod (Asellus aquaticus). A. aquaticus has recently diverged into two distinct ecotypes, inhabiting different lake habitats (reed Phragmites australis and stonewort Chara tomentosa, respectively). In field surveys, we found that these habitats differ markedly in isopod population densities and adult sex ratios. These spatially and temporally demographic differences are likely to affect mating behaviour. We performed behavioural experiments using animals from both the ancestral ecotype ("reed" isopods) and from the novel ecotype ("stonewort" isopods) population. We found that neither ecotype adjusted their behaviour in response to population density. However, the reed ecotype had a higher intrinsic mating propensity across densities. In contrast to the effects of density, we found ecotype differences in plasticity in response to sex ratio. The stonewort ecotype show pronounced phenotypic plasticity in mating propensity to adult sex ratio, whereas the reed ecotype showed a more canalised behaviour with respect to this demographic factor. We suggest that the lower overall mating propensity and the phenotypic plasticity in response to sex ratio have evolved in the novel stonewort ecotype following invasion of the novel habitat. Plasticity in mating behaviour may in turn have effects on the direction and intensity of sexual selection in the stonewort habitat, which may fuel further ecotype divergence. (Less)
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type
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publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS ONE
volume
5
issue
9
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • wos:000281864100010
  • scopus:77958524741
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0012755
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
badd69cd-2dfe-4843-a19b-5e3be6fb0925 (old id 1687967)
date added to LUP
2010-10-21 16:31:47
date last changed
2018-06-17 04:17:34
@article{badd69cd-2dfe-4843-a19b-5e3be6fb0925,
  abstract     = {The ability to express phenotypically plastic responses to environmental cues might be adaptive in changing environments. We studied phenotypic plasticity in mating behaviour as a response to population density and adult sex ratio in a freshwater isopod (Asellus aquaticus). A. aquaticus has recently diverged into two distinct ecotypes, inhabiting different lake habitats (reed Phragmites australis and stonewort Chara tomentosa, respectively). In field surveys, we found that these habitats differ markedly in isopod population densities and adult sex ratios. These spatially and temporally demographic differences are likely to affect mating behaviour. We performed behavioural experiments using animals from both the ancestral ecotype ("reed" isopods) and from the novel ecotype ("stonewort" isopods) population. We found that neither ecotype adjusted their behaviour in response to population density. However, the reed ecotype had a higher intrinsic mating propensity across densities. In contrast to the effects of density, we found ecotype differences in plasticity in response to sex ratio. The stonewort ecotype show pronounced phenotypic plasticity in mating propensity to adult sex ratio, whereas the reed ecotype showed a more canalised behaviour with respect to this demographic factor. We suggest that the lower overall mating propensity and the phenotypic plasticity in response to sex ratio have evolved in the novel stonewort ecotype following invasion of the novel habitat. Plasticity in mating behaviour may in turn have effects on the direction and intensity of sexual selection in the stonewort habitat, which may fuel further ecotype divergence.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Kristina and Eroukhmanoff, Fabrice and Svensson, Erik},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Phenotypic plasticity in response to the social environment: effects of density and sex ratio on mating behaviour following ecotype divergence.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0012755},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2010},
}