1932

Abstract

Guppies in Trinidad range across aquatic environments with fish communities that vary in risk of predation. These communities are often discrete, separated by waterfalls, with high-predation communities downstream and low-predation communities upstream. This gradient is repeated in many rivers; in each one, we see the same divergence between guppy populations in life history, behavior, morphology, and physiology. We have shown that the agent of selection on the life history, behavior, and physiology in low-predation communities is high population density and the cascade of ecological effects that stems from it. In effect, guppy populations modify their ecosystem and, in so doing, impose selection on themselves and shape their own evolution, which further changes the ecosystem. Evolution unfolds rapidly in this system, which has enabled us to study the dynamics of the process, not just its end points. Those studies enable us to answer some very general questions in ecology and evolutionary biology.

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2019-11-02
2024-06-22
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