Predictable adaptive trajectories of sexual coloration in the wild: evidence from replicate experimental guppy populations

Darrell J. Kemp, Frana-Katica Batistic, David N. Reznick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The question of whether populations evolve predictably and consistently under similar selective regimes is fundamental to understanding how adaptation proceeds in the wild. We address this question with a replicated evolution experiment focused upon male sexual coloration in guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Fish were transplanted from a single high predation population in the Guanapo River to four replicate, guppy-free low predation headwater streams. Two streams had their canopies thinned to adjust the setting under which male coloration is displayed and perceived. We assessed evolutionary divergence using second-generation lab-bred offspring of fish sampled four to six years following translocation. A prior experiment of the same design, performed in an adjacent drainage, resulted in the evolution of more extensive orange, black, and iridescent markings. We however found evidence for expansion only in structural coloration (iridescent blue/green), no change in orange, and a reduction in black. This response amplifies earlier findings for Guanapo fish, revealing that trajectories of color elaboration differ among drainages. We also found that color phenotypes evolved more greatly at the thinned-canopy sites. Our findings support the predictability of sexual trait evolution in the wild, and underscore the importance of signaling conditions and ornamental starting points in shaping adaptive trajectories.

LanguageEnglish
Pages2462-2477
Number of pages16
JournalEvolution
Volume72
Issue number11
Early online date28 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Fingerprint

Poecilia
Poecilia reticulata
trajectories
Fishes
trajectory
color
Drainage
fish
Color
predation
canopy
drainage
Population
Rivers
headwater
translocation
phenotype
experiment
divergence
divergent evolution

Keywords

  • color ornament
  • experimental evolution
  • iridescence
  • sexual selection
  • visual ecology

Cite this

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abstract = "The question of whether populations evolve predictably and consistently under similar selective regimes is fundamental to understanding how adaptation proceeds in the wild. We address this question with a replicated evolution experiment focused upon male sexual coloration in guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Fish were transplanted from a single high predation population in the Guanapo River to four replicate, guppy-free low predation headwater streams. Two streams had their canopies thinned to adjust the setting under which male coloration is displayed and perceived. We assessed evolutionary divergence using second-generation lab-bred offspring of fish sampled four to six years following translocation. A prior experiment of the same design, performed in an adjacent drainage, resulted in the evolution of more extensive orange, black, and iridescent markings. We however found evidence for expansion only in structural coloration (iridescent blue/green), no change in orange, and a reduction in black. This response amplifies earlier findings for Guanapo fish, revealing that trajectories of color elaboration differ among drainages. We also found that color phenotypes evolved more greatly at the thinned-canopy sites. Our findings support the predictability of sexual trait evolution in the wild, and underscore the importance of signaling conditions and ornamental starting points in shaping adaptive trajectories.",
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Predictable adaptive trajectories of sexual coloration in the wild : evidence from replicate experimental guppy populations. / Kemp, Darrell J.; Batistic, Frana-Katica; Reznick, David N.

In: Evolution, Vol. 72, No. 11, 11.2018, p. 2462-2477.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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