Present address: Department of Animal Biology, 103 Shelford Vivarium, 606 E. Healey St., Champaign, IL 61820, USA.
Plastic responses to parents and predators lead to divergent shoaling behaviour in sticklebacks
Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 25, Issue 4, pages 759–769, April 2012
How to Cite
KOZAK, G. M. and BOUGHMAN, J. W. (2012), Plastic responses to parents and predators lead to divergent shoaling behaviour in sticklebacks. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25: 759–769. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2012.02471.x
- Issue published online: 15 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 9 FEB 2012
- Received 3 February 2011; revised 5 January 2012; accepted 9 January 2012
- parental care;
- paternal effects;
- phenotypic plasticity;
- transgenerational plasticity
Population divergence in antipredator defence and behaviour occurs rapidly and repeatedly. Genetic differences, phenotypic plasticity or parental effects may all contribute to divergence, but the relative importance of each of these mechanisms remains unknown. We exposed juveniles to parents and predators to measure how induced changes contribute to shoaling behaviour differences between two threespine stickleback species (benthics and limnetics: Gasterosteus spp). We found that limnetics increased shoaling in response to predator attacks, whereas benthics did not alter their behaviour. Care by limnetic fathers led to increased shoaling in both limnetic and benthic offspring. Shoaling helps limnetics avoid trout and avian predation; our results suggest that this adaptive behaviour is the result of a combination of paternal effects, predator-induced plasticity and genetic differences between species. These results suggest that plasticity substantially contributes to the rapid divergence in shoaling behaviour across the post-Pleistocene radiation of sticklebacks.