Ecological conditions drive pace-of-life syndromes by shaping relationships between life history, physiology and behaviour in two populations of Eastern mosquitofish

Giovanni Polverino, Francesca Santostefano, Carlos Díaz-Gil, Thomas Mehner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The pace-of-life syndrome (POLS) hypothesis predicts variation in behaviour and physiology among individuals to be associated with variation in life history. Thus, individuals on the “fast” end of POLS continuum grow faster, exhibit higher metabolism, are more risk prone, but die earlier than ones on the “slow” end. Empirical support is nevertheless mixed and modelling studies suggested POLS to vary along selection gradients. Therefore, including ecological variation when testing POLS is vastly needed to determine whether POLS is a fixed construct or the result of specific selection processes. Here, we tested POLS predictions between and within two fish populations originating from different ecological conditions. We observed opposing life histories between populations, characterized by differential investments into growth, fecundity, and functional morphology under identical laboratory conditions. A slower life history was, on average, associated with boldness (latency to emergence from a refuge), high activity (short freezing time and long distance travelled), and increased standard metabolism. Correlation structures among POLS traits were not consistent between populations, with the expression of POLS observed in the slow-growing but not in the fast-growing population. Our results suggest that POLS traits can evolve independently from one another and that their coevolution depends upon specific ecological processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14673
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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