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Eco-evolutionary dynamics in aquatic ecosystems

English title Eco-evolutionary dynamics in aquatic ecosystems
Applicant Matthews Blake
Number 175614
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Aquatische Umweltanalytik EAWAG
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology - EAWAG
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.02.2018 - 31.01.2022
Approved amount 641'346.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Ecology
Zoology

Keywords (8)

stickleback; community ecology; biodiversity; foraging behavior; quantitative genetics; trait evolution; stoichiometry; environmental change

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Eco-evolutionary dynamics in aquatic ecosystems
Lay summary

Im Zuge unseres Forschungsplan wollen wir untersuchen, wie sich die evolutionäre Prozesse auf die Entwicklung und Stabilität aquatischer Ökosysteme auswirken können. Dazu verwenden wir Stichlinge als Modellsystem und erforschen die Evolution von bestimmten organismischen Eigenschaften (Aussehen, Verhalten und Genetik) von Populationen in der Schweiz und in Grönland.

Zu unseren Hauptzielen gehört es (i) die genetische Basis für Variabilität von ökologisch relevanten organismischen Eigenschaften zu finden, (ii) zu verstehen wie diese durch Evolution entstanden sind, und schließlich (iii) die gegenseitigen Wechselwirkungen von organismischer Evolution und Ökosystemen (öko-evolutionären Prozessen) zu verstehen. In dieser Hinsicht untersuchen wir erbliche Eigenschaften von Räuber und Beute Spezies, sowie solche zur Umsetzung von Nährstoffen, und testen in großen Freiland-Experimenten ob Variation in diesen Eigenschaften zu ökosystemaren Veränderungen führen kann.

Durch das Studium von organismischen Eigenschaften, den unterliegenden Genen, sowie relevanten Art-Interaktionen und den resultieren Nährstoff-Dynamiken beabsichtigen wir ein tieferes Verständnis von öko-evolutionären Prozessen zu entwickeln. Es soll uns in die Lage versetzen Vorhersagen über die Entwicklung und Stabilität von Ökosystem in Bezug auf globale Umweltveränderungen zu treffen, welche ohne das Verständnis und den Einbezug evolutionärer Vorgänge ausgeschlossen sind.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.12.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Publications

Publication
Active Learning for Anomaly Detection in Environmental data
Russo Stefania, Lürig Moritz, Hao Wenjin, Matthews Blake, Villez Kris (2020), Active Learning for Anomaly Detection in Environmental data, in Environmental Modelling & Software, 104869-104869.
On biological evolution and environmental solutions
Matthews Blake, Jokela Jukka, Narwani Anita, Räsänen Katja, Pomati Francesco, Altermatt Florian, Spaak Piet, Robinson Christopher T., Vorburger Christoph (2020), On biological evolution and environmental solutions, in Science of The Total Environment, 724, 138194-138194.
An experimental test of how parasites of predators can influence trophic cascades and ecosystem functioning
Anaya‐Rojas Jaime M., Best Rebecca J., Brunner Franziska S., Eizaguirre Christophe, Leal Miguel Costa, Melián Carlos J., Seehausen Ole, Matthews Blake (2019), An experimental test of how parasites of predators can influence trophic cascades and ecosystem functioning, in Ecology, 100(8), e02744.
A key metabolic gene for recurrent freshwater colonization and radiation in fishes
Ishikawa Asano, Kabeya Naoki, Ikeya Koki, Kakioka Ryo, Cech Jennifer N., Osada Naoki, Leal Miguel C., Inoue Jun, Kume Manabu, Toyoda Atsushi, Tezuka Ayumi, Nagano Atsushi J., Yamasaki Yo Y., Suzuki Yuto, Kokita Tomoyuki, Takahashi Hiroshi, Lucek Kay, Marques David, Takehana Yusuke, Naruse Kiyoshi, Mori Seiichi, Monroig Oscar, Ladd Nemiah, Schubert Carsten J., Matthews Blake, PeichelCatherine, SeehausenOle, YoshizakiGoro, KitanoJun (2019), A key metabolic gene for recurrent freshwater colonization and radiation in fishes, in Science, 364(6443), 886-889.
Detecting the macroevolutionary signal of species interactions
Harmon Luke J., Andreazzi Cecilia S., Débarre Florence, Drury Jonathan, Goldberg Emma E., Martins Ayana B., Melián Carlos J., Narwani Anita, Nuismer Scott L., Pennell Matthew W., Rudman Seth M., Seehausen Ole, Silvestro Daniele, Weber Marjorie, Matthews Blake (2019), Detecting the macroevolutionary signal of species interactions, in Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 32(8), 769-782.
Rapid Divergence of Predator Functional Traits Affects Prey Composition in Aquatic Communities
Schmid Dominik W., McGee Matthew D., Best Rebecca J., Seehausen Ole, Matthews Blake (2019), Rapid Divergence of Predator Functional Traits Affects Prey Composition in Aquatic Communities, in The American Naturalist, 193(3), 331-345.
Eco‐evolutionary feedbacks—Theoretical models and perspectives
Govaert Lynn, Fronhofer Emanuel A., Lion Sébastien, Eizaguirre Christophe, Bonte Dries, Egas Martijn, Hendry Andrew P., De Brito Martins Ayana, Melián Carlos J., Raeymaekers Joost A. M., Ratikainen Irja I., Saether Bernt‐Erik, Schweitzer Jennifer A., Matthews Blake (2018), Eco‐evolutionary feedbacks—Theoretical models and perspectives, in Functional Ecology, 33(1), 13-30.

Datasets

Data from: Rapid divergence of predator functional traits affects prey composition in aquatic communities

Author Schmid, Dominik
Publication date 02.11.2020
Persistent Identifier (PID) https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8rk23t4
Repository Dryad
Abstract
Identifying traits that underlie variation in individual performance of consumers (i.e. trait utility) can help reveal the ecological causes of population divergence, and the subsequent consequences for species interactions and community structure. Here, we document a case of rapid divergence (over the past 100 generations or ~150 years) in foraging traits and feeding efficiency between a lake and stream population pair of threespine stickleback. Building on predictions from functional trait models of fish feeding, we analyzed foraging experiments with a Bayesian path analysis and elucidated the traits explaining variation in foraging performance and the species composition of ingested prey. Despite extensive previous research on the divergence of foraging traits among populations and ecotypes of stickleback, our results provide novel experimental evidence of trait utility for jaw protrusion, gill raker length, and gill raker spacing when foraging on a natural zooplankton assemblage. Furthermore, we discuss how these traits might contribute to the differential effects of lake and stream stickleback on their prey communities, observed in both laboratory and mesocosm conditions. More generally, our results illustrate how the rapid divergence of functional foraging traits of consumers can impact the biomass, species composition, and trophic structure of prey communities.

Data from: Phosphorus limitation does not drive loss of bony lateral plates in freshwater stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

Author Archambeault, Sophie
Publication date 13.10.2020
Persistent Identifier (PID) https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9409-7541
Repository Dryad
Abstract
Connecting the selective forces that drive the evolution of phenotypes to their underlying genotypes is key to understanding adaptation, but such connections are rarely tested experimentally. Threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) are a powerful model for such tests because genotypes that underlie putatively adaptive traits have been identified. For example, a regulatory mutation in the Ectodysplasin (Eda) gene causes a reduction in the number of bony armor plates, which occurs rapidly and repeatedly when marine sticklebacks invade freshwater. However, the source of selection on plate loss in freshwater is unknown. Here, we tested whether dietary reduction of phosphorus can account for selection on plate loss due to a growth advantage of low-plated fish in freshwater. We crossed marine fish heterozygous for the 16 kilobase freshwater Eda haplotype and compared the growth of offspring with different genotypes under contrasting levels of dietary phosphorus in both saltwater and freshwater. Eda genotype was not associated with growth differences in any treatment, or with mechanisms that could mitigate the impacts of phosphorus limitation, like differential phosphorus deposition, phosphorus excretion, or intestine length. This study highlights the importance of experimentally testing the putative selective forces acting on phenotypes and their underlying genotypes in the wild.

Data from: An experimental test of how parasites of predators can influence trophic cascades and ecosystem functioning

Author Anaya-Rojas, Jaime
Publication date 20.06.2019
Persistent Identifier (PID) https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.34c4889
Repository Dryad
Abstract
Parasites can shape the structure and function of ecosystems by influencing both the density and traits of their hosts. Such changes in ecosystems are particularly likely when the host is a predator that mediates the dynamics of trophic cascades. Here, we experimentally tested how parasite load of a small predatory fish, the threespine stickleback, can affect the occurrence and strength of trophic cascades and ecosystem functioning. In a factorial mesocosm experiment, we manipulated the density of stickleback (low vs. high), and the level of parasite load (natural vs. reduced). In addition, we used two stickleback populations from different lineages: an Eastern European lineage with a more pelagic phenotype (Lake Constance) and a Western European lineage with a more benthic phenotype (Lake Geneva). We found that stickleback caused trophic cascades in the pelagic but not the benthic food chain. Evidence for pelagic trophic cascades was stronger in treatments where parasite load of stickleback was reduced with an antihelmintic medication, and where fish originated from Lake Constance (i.e. the more pelagic lineage). A structural equation model revealed that differences in stickleback lineage and parasite load were most likely to impact trophic cascades via changes in the composition, rather than overall biomass, of zooplankton communities. Overall, our results provide experimental evidence that parasites of predators can influence the cascading effects of fish on lower trophic levels with consequences on ecosystem functioning.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Vasilis Dakos/CNRS France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Jun Kitano/National Institute of Genetics Japan (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Mary O'Connor/UBC Canada (North America)
- Publication
Catherine Peichel/Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication
Luke Harmon/University of Idaho United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
World Biodiversity Forum Poster Non-additive effects of foundation species determine the response of aquatic ecosystems to nutrient perturbation 23.02.2020 Davos, Switzerland Matthews Blake;
Biology 19 - UniZurich Talk given at a conference On the evolution of trophic position 07.02.2020 Fribourg, Switzerland Moosmann Marvin;
Biology 20 - Fribourg Talk given at a conference On the evolution of trophic position 06.02.2020 Fribourg, Switzerland Moosmann Marvin;
Biology 20 - Fribourg Talk given at a conference Convergent evolution of conserved mitochondrial pathways underlies repeated adaptation to extreme environments 06.02.2020 Fribourg, Switzerland Greenway Ryan;
Evolution Evolving Poster Developmental plasticity and maternal effects shape phenotype distributions 01.04.2019 Cambridge, United States of America Matthews Blake;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Biodiveristy unconference series 14.04.2020 Zoom conference series, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Praxisbezug – Austausch mit den Kommissionen Workshop 30.06.2020 Duebendorf, Switzerland Matthews Blake;
World Biodiveristy Forum Poster 23.02.2020 Davos, Switzerland Matthews Blake;
MSK Wissenschaftliche Begleitgruppe Eawag Talk 19.02.2019 Duebendorf, Switzerland Matthews Blake;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
183566 20,000 years of evolution and ecosystem dynamics in the world’s largest tropical lake reconstructed from sediment cores, fossils and ancient DNA 01.03.2019 Sinergia
153464 The eco-evolutionary dynamics of community assembly in aquatic ecosystems 01.11.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
139326 Ecological speciation in stickleback 01.05.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
185195 Migration and ecological divergence 01.06.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Conceptual advances - The proposed research will explore the influence of rapid trait evolution on contemporary community and ecosystem dynamics, and the role of such changes on natural selection. The aims of the proposed research are to (i) understand the genetic basis and architecture of functional effect and functional response traits of threespine stickleback (ii) quantify the effect of rapid trait evolution in stickleback on aquatic ecosystem dynamics, and (iii) test for feedbacks between phenotypic evolution and stickleback-mediated modification of ecosystems. Here, we propose to investigate the ecosystem consequences of rapid trait evolution. However, advances in this field require a solid understanding of the genetic basis and architecture of functional traits, and the potential for feedbacks between traits and ecosystem dynamics. Overall, our proposed work will lead to a deeper understanding about the interplay between ecosystem and evolutionary dynamics.
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