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Rates of gene flow in a freshwater snail and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity

Hollander, Johan LU ; Ahlgren, Johan LU and Brönmark, Christer LU (2017) In Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 121(4). p.764-770
Abstract

The evolution of phenotypic plasticity requires a number of conditions. Selection of plasticity is favoured when the organism experience environmental change, costs are low and cues are reliable about the environmental heterogeneity. However, organisms living in stable environments, not showing constitutive traits but a large amount of plasticity, are predicted to demonstrate high rates of gene flow in order for selection to favour the evolution of phenotypic plasticity, which accordingly should provide weak genetic structures across populations. We used the pulmonate freshwater gastropod Radix balthica, a species with known and considerable shell shape variation due to predator-induced plasticity, and used amplified fragment length... (More)

The evolution of phenotypic plasticity requires a number of conditions. Selection of plasticity is favoured when the organism experience environmental change, costs are low and cues are reliable about the environmental heterogeneity. However, organisms living in stable environments, not showing constitutive traits but a large amount of plasticity, are predicted to demonstrate high rates of gene flow in order for selection to favour the evolution of phenotypic plasticity, which accordingly should provide weak genetic structures across populations. We used the pulmonate freshwater gastropod Radix balthica, a species with known and considerable shell shape variation due to predator-induced plasticity, and used amplified fragment length polymorphism markers to test if the rate of gene flow can explain the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. Since R. balthica inhabit water bodies with different but consistent predator regimes, we envisaged a large dispersal rate. However, we found a contradictory result with clear population structures, even among adjacent ponds in southern Sweden. We discuss this apparent paradox in contrast to the evolution of ecotype formation, colonization mechanisms that have the potential to reduce gene flow and, in the context of costs of plasticity, we consider new perspectives about relaxed and variable selection that may drive the evolution of phenotypic plasticity.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Connectivity, Gene flow, Isolation-by-distance, Local adaptation, Phenotypic plasticity, Population structure, Radix balthica
in
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
volume
121
issue
4
pages
7 pages
publisher
Linnean Society of London
external identifiers
  • scopus:85029211599
  • wos:000406924100005
ISSN
0024-4066
DOI
10.1093/biolinnean/blx028
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
99c24136-3e71-43fc-8e1a-82bffa73edac
date added to LUP
2017-10-04 09:29:23
date last changed
2018-01-16 13:20:32
@article{99c24136-3e71-43fc-8e1a-82bffa73edac,
  abstract     = {<p>The evolution of phenotypic plasticity requires a number of conditions. Selection of plasticity is favoured when the organism experience environmental change, costs are low and cues are reliable about the environmental heterogeneity. However, organisms living in stable environments, not showing constitutive traits but a large amount of plasticity, are predicted to demonstrate high rates of gene flow in order for selection to favour the evolution of phenotypic plasticity, which accordingly should provide weak genetic structures across populations. We used the pulmonate freshwater gastropod Radix balthica, a species with known and considerable shell shape variation due to predator-induced plasticity, and used amplified fragment length polymorphism markers to test if the rate of gene flow can explain the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. Since R. balthica inhabit water bodies with different but consistent predator regimes, we envisaged a large dispersal rate. However, we found a contradictory result with clear population structures, even among adjacent ponds in southern Sweden. We discuss this apparent paradox in contrast to the evolution of ecotype formation, colonization mechanisms that have the potential to reduce gene flow and, in the context of costs of plasticity, we consider new perspectives about relaxed and variable selection that may drive the evolution of phenotypic plasticity.</p>},
  author       = {Hollander, Johan and Ahlgren, Johan and Brönmark, Christer},
  issn         = {0024-4066},
  keyword      = {Connectivity,Gene flow,Isolation-by-distance,Local adaptation,Phenotypic plasticity,Population structure,Radix balthica},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {764--770},
  publisher    = {Linnean Society of London},
  series       = {Biological Journal of the Linnean Society},
  title        = {Rates of gene flow in a freshwater snail and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blx028},
  volume       = {121},
  year         = {2017},
}