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Sexual dimorphism in a top predator (Notophthalmus viridescens) drives aquatic prey community assembly

Start, Denon and De Lisle, Stephen LU (2018) In Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 285(1890).
Abstract

Intraspecific variation can have important consequences for the structure and function of ecological communities, and serves to link community ecology to evolutionary processes. Differences between the sexes are an overwhelmingly common form of intraspecific variation, but its community-level consequences have never been experimentally investigated. Here, we manipulate the sex ratio of a sexually dimorphic predacious newt in aquatic mesocosms, then track their impact on prey communities. Female and male newts preferentially forage in the benthic and pelagic zones, respectively, causing corresponding reductions in prey abundances in those habitats. Sex ratio differences also explained a large proportion (33%) of differences in the... (More)

Intraspecific variation can have important consequences for the structure and function of ecological communities, and serves to link community ecology to evolutionary processes. Differences between the sexes are an overwhelmingly common form of intraspecific variation, but its community-level consequences have never been experimentally investigated. Here, we manipulate the sex ratio of a sexually dimorphic predacious newt in aquatic mesocosms, then track their impact on prey communities. Female and male newts preferentially forage in the benthic and pelagic zones, respectively, causing corresponding reductions in prey abundances in those habitats. Sex ratio differences also explained a large proportion (33%) of differences in the composition of entire pond communities. Ultimately, we demonstrate the impact of known patterns of sexual dimorphism in a predator on its prey, uncovering overlooked links between evolutionary adaptation and the structure of contemporary communities. Given the extreme prevalence of sexual dimorphism, we argue that the independent evolution of the sexes will often have important consequences for ecological communities.

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organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
amphibian, aquatic, character displacement, intraspecific variation, sexual selection
in
Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
volume
285
issue
1890
publisher
Royal Society Publishing
external identifiers
  • pmid:30404874
  • scopus:85056403771
ISSN
1471-2954
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2018.1717
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9403dd87-b0ed-49a4-9056-c841a6144134
date added to LUP
2018-11-22 09:09:37
date last changed
2021-10-06 02:14:11
@article{9403dd87-b0ed-49a4-9056-c841a6144134,
  abstract     = {<p>Intraspecific variation can have important consequences for the structure and function of ecological communities, and serves to link community ecology to evolutionary processes. Differences between the sexes are an overwhelmingly common form of intraspecific variation, but its community-level consequences have never been experimentally investigated. Here, we manipulate the sex ratio of a sexually dimorphic predacious newt in aquatic mesocosms, then track their impact on prey communities. Female and male newts preferentially forage in the benthic and pelagic zones, respectively, causing corresponding reductions in prey abundances in those habitats. Sex ratio differences also explained a large proportion (33%) of differences in the composition of entire pond communities. Ultimately, we demonstrate the impact of known patterns of sexual dimorphism in a predator on its prey, uncovering overlooked links between evolutionary adaptation and the structure of contemporary communities. Given the extreme prevalence of sexual dimorphism, we argue that the independent evolution of the sexes will often have important consequences for ecological communities.</p>},
  author       = {Start, Denon and De Lisle, Stephen},
  issn         = {1471-2954},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  number       = {1890},
  publisher    = {Royal Society Publishing},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Sexual dimorphism in a top predator (Notophthalmus viridescens) drives aquatic prey community assembly},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2018.1717},
  doi          = {10.1098/rspb.2018.1717},
  volume       = {285},
  year         = {2018},
}