Invader population speeds up life history during colonization
AuthorAmundsen, Per-Arne; Salonen, Erno; Niva, Teuvo; Gjelland, Karl Øystein; Præbel, Kim; Sandlund, Odd Terje; Knudsen, Rune; Bøhn, Thomas
We explore the long-term developments in population biology and life history during the invasion and establishment of the fish species vendace Coregonus albula in a subarctic watercourse by comparing life-history traits and molecular genetic estimates between the source and the colonist population. The two populations exhibited highly contrasting life-history strategies. Relative to the source population, the colonist population was characterized by slower somatic growth rates, earlier sexual maturation at smaller individual size, higher mortality rates and a shorter life span. The two populations could also be significantly discriminated by the genetic markers. Limited founder effects were detected from heterozygote deficit and reduced allelic richness in the colonist population, but both populations were associated with relatively high genetic diversity. The study reveals that the invasion into a new environment induced large changes in life-history strategy, with typical r-selected traits being more prominent in the colonist than in the source population. We discuss the mechanisms that may explain the observed life-history differences between the source and the colonist population, and argue that the accelerated life history of the colonist population represents an adaptive pioneer strategy aimed at fast population increase during colonization and establishment.
CitationBiological Invasions 14(2012) nr. 7 s. 1501-1513
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