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A Meta‐Analysis of Factors Affecting Local Adaptation between Interacting Species

Jason D. Hoeksema and Samantha E. Forde
The American Naturalist
Vol. 171, No. 3 (March 2008), pp. 275-290
DOI: 10.1086/527496
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/527496
Page Count: 16
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A Meta‐Analysis of Factors Affecting Local Adaptation between Interacting Species
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Abstract

Abstract: Adaptive divergence among populations can result in local adaptation, whereby genotypes in native environments exhibit greater fitness than genotypes in novel environments. A body of theory has developed that predicts how different species traits, such as rates of gene flow and generation times, influence local adaptation in coevolutionary species interactions. We used a meta‐analysis of local‐adaptation studies across a broad range of host‐parasite interactions to evaluate predictions about the effect of species traits on local adaptation. We also evaluated how experimental design influences the outcome of local adaptation experiments. In reciprocally designed experiments, the relative gene flow rate of hosts versus parasites was the strongest predictor of local adaptation, with significant parasite local adaptation only in the studies in which parasites had greater gene flow rates than their hosts. When nonreciprocal studies were included in analyses, species traits did not explain significant variation in local adaptation, although the overall level of local adaptation observed was lower in the nonreciprocal than in the reciprocal studies. This formal meta‐analysis across a diversity of host‐parasite systems lends insight into the role of both biology (species traits) and biologists (experimental design) in detecting local adaptation in coevolving species interactions.

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