Four decades of opposing natural and human-induced artificial selection acting on Windermere pike (Esox lucius)

Authors

  • Stephanie M. Carlson,

    1. Department of Biology, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo, PO Box 1066, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
    2. School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
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  • Eric Edeline,

    1. Department of Biology, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo, PO Box 1066, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
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  • L. Asbjørn Vøllestad,

    1. Department of Biology, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo, PO Box 1066, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
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  • Thrond. O. Haugen,

    1. Department of Biology, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo, PO Box 1066, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
    2. Norwegian Institute of Water Research, Gaustadalléen 21, 0349 Oslo, Norway
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  • Ian J. Winfield,

    1. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 4AP, UK
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  • Janice M. Fletcher,

    1. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 4AP, UK
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  • J. Ben James,

    1. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 4AP, UK
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  • Nils Chr. Stenseth

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo, PO Box 1066, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
      * E-mail: n.c.stenseth@bio.uio.no
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* E-mail: n.c.stenseth@bio.uio.no

Abstract

The ability of natural selection to drive local adaptation has been appreciated ever since Darwin. Whether human impacts can impede the adaptive process has received less attention. We tested this hypothesis by quantifying natural selection and harvest selection acting on a freshwater fish (pike) over four decades. Across the time series, directional natural selection tended to favour large individuals whereas the fishery targeted large individuals. Moreover, non-linear natural selection tended to favour intermediate sized fish whereas the fishery targeted intermediate sized fish because the smallest and largest individuals were often not captured. Thus, our results unequivocally demonstrate that natural selection and fishery selection often acted in opposite directions within this natural system. Moreover, the two selective factors combined to produce reduced fitness overall and stronger stabilizing selection relative to natural selection acting alone. The long-term ramifications of such human-induced modifications to adaptive landscapes are currently unknown and certainly warrant further investigation.

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