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Context‐dependent evolution of high trophic position drives functional disparity in subterranean crustaceans


Premate, Ester; Borko, Špela; Altermatt, Florian; Fišer, Cene (2023). Context‐dependent evolution of high trophic position drives functional disparity in subterranean crustaceans. Functional Ecology, 37(9):2523-2534.

Abstract

Species performance depends on the concerted interplay of their functional traits. Natural selection acts on the performance of the species and influences entire suits of interdependent functional traits, thereby driving the evolution of functional diversity (FD) within a clade.
In a given habitat, interdependent functional traits are expected to integrate into only a few adaptive combinations. When a clade diversifies in different habitats, the FD within habitats (herein called α‐FD) diversifies in response to local selections, while between the habitats, alternative adaptive combinations of interdependent traits that are specific to the habitat emerge. This multivariate selection leads to two hypotheses. First, realized α‐FD within one habitat represents only a small fraction of the variation of functional traits, and second, realized FDs across habitats (hereafter called β‐FD) are equal to or greater than would be in the absence of the interdependence of functional traits.
We tested these hypotheses using 185 species of the highly diverse subterranean amphipod genus Niphargus living in three habitats: river interstitial, cave lakes, and cave streams. We (i) explored integration of functional traits related to locomotion and feeding biology and tested (ii) if realized α‐FD within each habitat is lower than it would be without trait interdependence, and (iii) if realized β‐FD in pairwise comparisons of habitats is higher than it would be without trait interdependence.
In all three habitats, the length of the appendages as a proxy of the locomotion speed was positively correlated with the trophic position of the species. On the contrary, the body shape correlations were habitat dependent: species in high trophic positions were slender, stout or invariant in shape in interstitial, cave streams and cave lakes, respectively.
Using null models, we show that only a fraction of functional trait combinations was realized in each habitat, whereas β‐FD between habitats was equal to or greater than the null expectations.
The results indicate preserved potential for diversification in species within and between habitats. This potential can be realized through hybridization and can drive diversification in adaptive radiations. Moreover, this perspective on the evolution of FD is compatible with several central ecological and evolutionary concepts, such as adaptive landscape or ecological niche theory.
Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog.

Abstract

Species performance depends on the concerted interplay of their functional traits. Natural selection acts on the performance of the species and influences entire suits of interdependent functional traits, thereby driving the evolution of functional diversity (FD) within a clade.
In a given habitat, interdependent functional traits are expected to integrate into only a few adaptive combinations. When a clade diversifies in different habitats, the FD within habitats (herein called α‐FD) diversifies in response to local selections, while between the habitats, alternative adaptive combinations of interdependent traits that are specific to the habitat emerge. This multivariate selection leads to two hypotheses. First, realized α‐FD within one habitat represents only a small fraction of the variation of functional traits, and second, realized FDs across habitats (hereafter called β‐FD) are equal to or greater than would be in the absence of the interdependence of functional traits.
We tested these hypotheses using 185 species of the highly diverse subterranean amphipod genus Niphargus living in three habitats: river interstitial, cave lakes, and cave streams. We (i) explored integration of functional traits related to locomotion and feeding biology and tested (ii) if realized α‐FD within each habitat is lower than it would be without trait interdependence, and (iii) if realized β‐FD in pairwise comparisons of habitats is higher than it would be without trait interdependence.
In all three habitats, the length of the appendages as a proxy of the locomotion speed was positively correlated with the trophic position of the species. On the contrary, the body shape correlations were habitat dependent: species in high trophic positions were slender, stout or invariant in shape in interstitial, cave streams and cave lakes, respectively.
Using null models, we show that only a fraction of functional trait combinations was realized in each habitat, whereas β‐FD between habitats was equal to or greater than the null expectations.
The results indicate preserved potential for diversification in species within and between habitats. This potential can be realized through hybridization and can drive diversification in adaptive radiations. Moreover, this perspective on the evolution of FD is compatible with several central ecological and evolutionary concepts, such as adaptive landscape or ecological niche theory.
Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
08 Research Priority Programs > Global Change and Biodiversity
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:1 September 2023
Deposited On:24 Jan 2024 08:44
Last Modified:30 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0269-8463
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.14407
Project Information:
  • : FunderEuropean Commission
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderFundo Regional para a Ciência e Tecnologia
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderBelgian Federal Science Policy Office
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderAgence Nationale de la Recherche
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderAustrian Science Fund
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderEuropean Regional Development Fund
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderUniversity of Zurich
  • : Grant IDURPP-Global Change & Biodiversity
  • : Project TitleToward a better integration of evolution and community ecology
  • : Project Websitehttps://www.gcb.uzh.ch/en/Research/Phase-II-Projects/Landscapes/Project-2-Florian-Altermatt.html
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)