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North Vancouver, Canada

Tseng M.,4200 6270 University Boulevard | O'Connor M.I.,4200 6270 University Boulevard
Biology Letters | Year: 2015

As climate regimes shift in many ecosystems worldwide, evolution may be a critical process allowing persistence in rapidly changing environments. Organisms regularly interact with other species, yet whether climate-mediated evolution can occur in the context of species interactions is not well understood. We tested whether a species interaction could modify evolutionary responses to temperature. We demonstrate that predation pressure by Dipteran larvae (Chaoborus americanus) modified the evolutionary response of a freshwater crustacean (Daphnia pulex) to its thermal environment over approximately seven generations in laboratory conditions. Daphnia kept at 218C evolved higher population growth rates than those kept at 18°C, but only in those populations that were also reared with predators. Furthermore, predator-mediated selection resulted in the evolution of elevated Daphnia thermal plasticity. This laboratory natural selection experiment demonstrates that biotic interactions can modify evolutionary adaptation to temperature. Understanding the interplay between multiple selective forces can improve predictions of ecological and evolutionary responses of organisms to rapid environmental change. © 2015 The Authors.

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