Ecology and Evolution 2012; 2(5): 941–951
Adaptation to larval crowding in Drosophila ananassae leads to the evolution of population stability
Article first published online: 8 APR 2012
© 2011 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Ecology and Evolution
Volume 2, Issue 5, pages 941–951, May 2012
How to Cite
Dey, S., Bose, J. and Joshi, A. (2012), Adaptation to larval crowding in Drosophila ananassae leads to the evolution of population stability. Ecology and Evolution, 2: 941–951. doi: 10.1002/ece3.227
- Issue published online: 10 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 8 APR 2012
- Received: 14 October 2011; Revised: 13 January 2012; Accepted: 24 January 2012
- competitive ability;
- density-dependent selection;
- life-history evolution;
- population dynamics
Density-dependent selection is expected to lead to population stability, especially if r and K tradeoff. Yet, there is no empirical evidence of adaptation to crowding leading to the evolution of stability. We show that populations of Drosophila ananassae selected for adaptation to larval crowding have higher K and lower r, and evolve greater stability than controls. We also show that increased population growth rates at high density can enhance stability, even in the absence of a decrease in r, by ensuring that the crowding adapted populations do not fall to very low sizes. We discuss our results in the context of traits known to have diverged between the selected and control populations, and compare our results with previous work on the evolution of stability in D. melanogaster. Overall, our results suggest that density-dependent selection may be an important factor promoting the evolution of relatively stable dynamics in natural populations.