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CONVERGENCE OF LIFE-HISTORY PHENOTYPES IN A TRINIDADIAN KILLIFISH (RIVULUS HARTII)

Andrew I. Furness, Matthew R. Walsh and David N. Reznick
Evolution
Vol. 66, No. 4 (APRIL 2012), pp. 1240-1254
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41465350
Page Count: 15
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Abstract

Convergent evolution is characterized by the independent evolution of similar phenotypes within similar selective environments. Previous work on Trinidadian killifish, Rivulus hartii, demonstrated repeatable life-history differences across communities that differ in prédation intensity. These studies were performed in rivers located on the south slope of Trinidad's Northern Range Mountains. There exists a parallel series of rivers on the north slope of these mountains. As on the south slope, Rivulus is found across a gradient of fish prédation. However, the predatory fish species in north-slope rivers are derived from marine families, whereas south-slope rivers contain a predatory fish fauna characteristic of the South American mainland. If predator-induced mortality and the associated indirect effects are the causal factors selecting for life-history patterns in Rivulus, and these are similar in north-and south-slope rivers, then the specific predatory species should be interchangeable and we would expect convergence of life-history phenotypes across slopes. Here, we characterize the life-history phenotypes of Rivulus from north-slope communities by measuring number of eggs, egg weight, reproductive allotment, reproductive tissue weight, and size at maturity. We find similar patterns of life-history divergence across analogous predator communities. Between slopes, minor differences in Rivulus life-history traits exist and one potential cause of these differences is the abundance of Macrobrachium prawns in north-slope rivers.

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