Rapid evolution of prey maintains predator diversity

Autoři: Akihiko Mougi aff001
Působiště autorů: Institute of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Academic Assembly, Shimane University, Nishikawatsu-cho, Matsue, Japan aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227111


Factors maintaining the populations of diverse species that share limited resources or prey remain important issues in ecology. In the present study, I propose that heritable intraspecific variation in prey, which facilitates natural selection, is a key to solve this issue. A mathematical model reveals that diverse genotypes in a prey promote the coexistence of multiple predator species. When two predators share a prey with multiple genotypes, evolution nearly selects the two prey genotypes. Through analysis, I establish a condition of coexistence of such multiple predator–one prey interaction with two genotypes. If each prey type has high defensive capacity against different predator species, stable coexistence is likely to occur. Particularly, interspecific variations of life-history parameters allow the coexistence equilibrium to be stable. In addition, rapid evolution in a prey allows more than two predator species to coexist. Furthermore, mutation tends to stabilize otherwise unstable systems. These results suggest that intraspecific variation in a prey plays a key role in the maintenance of diverse predator species by driving adaptive evolution.

Klíčová slova:

Evolutionary adaptation – Population dynamics – Population genetics – Predation – Predator-prey dynamics – Species diversity – Species interactions – System stability


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2019 Číslo 12