Eco-evolutionary dynamics of mutualists and exploiters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With the growing recognition of exploiters as a prominent and enduring feature of many mutualisms, there is a need to understand the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of mutualisms in the context of exploitation. Here, we model coevolution between mutualist and exploiter birth rates, using an obligate pollinating seed parasite mutualism associated with a nonpollinating exploiter as a reference system. In this system, mutualist and exploiter larvae parasitize the host plant, competing for and consuming seeds. Evolution of the mutualist determines which exploiters can invade successfully. Subsequent coevolution with an exploiter has a strong, predictable influence on mutualist-exploiter coexistence, mutualist and exploiter phenotypes, and species abundances. Weak mutualist competition promotes "evolutionary purging" of the exploiter, while weak exploiter competition leads to "evolutionary suicide" of the system. When stable, long-term coexistence occurs, we identify two main "trait-abundance syndromes" that have three novel implications. (1) Persistent, highly parasitic exploiters can be favored by coevolution. (2) Even then, the density of coevolved mutualists can be high. (3) Low plant density results primarily from the evolution of mutualist, not exploiter, birth rate and density. To evaluate these predictions, studies are needed that identify and compare populations with and without exploiters and compare life-history traits of mutualists and exploiters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-794
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume174
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Fingerprint

coevolution
birth rate
coexistence
seed
suicide
mutualism
seeds
life history trait
plant density
host plant
phenotype
pollination
parasite
host plants
life history
larva
parasites
prediction
larvae

Keywords

  • Adaptive dynamics
  • Coevolution
  • Coexistence
  • Competition
  • Exploitation
  • Mutualism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Eco-evolutionary dynamics of mutualists and exploiters. / Jones, Emily I.; Ferriere, Regis H J; Bronstein, Judith L.

In: American Naturalist, Vol. 174, No. 6, 12.2009, p. 780-794.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{7510fb6940274d27aa8fa706c2f9c4f5,
title = "Eco-evolutionary dynamics of mutualists and exploiters",
abstract = "With the growing recognition of exploiters as a prominent and enduring feature of many mutualisms, there is a need to understand the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of mutualisms in the context of exploitation. Here, we model coevolution between mutualist and exploiter birth rates, using an obligate pollinating seed parasite mutualism associated with a nonpollinating exploiter as a reference system. In this system, mutualist and exploiter larvae parasitize the host plant, competing for and consuming seeds. Evolution of the mutualist determines which exploiters can invade successfully. Subsequent coevolution with an exploiter has a strong, predictable influence on mutualist-exploiter coexistence, mutualist and exploiter phenotypes, and species abundances. Weak mutualist competition promotes {"}evolutionary purging{"} of the exploiter, while weak exploiter competition leads to {"}evolutionary suicide{"} of the system. When stable, long-term coexistence occurs, we identify two main {"}trait-abundance syndromes{"} that have three novel implications. (1) Persistent, highly parasitic exploiters can be favored by coevolution. (2) Even then, the density of coevolved mutualists can be high. (3) Low plant density results primarily from the evolution of mutualist, not exploiter, birth rate and density. To evaluate these predictions, studies are needed that identify and compare populations with and without exploiters and compare life-history traits of mutualists and exploiters.",
keywords = "Adaptive dynamics, Coevolution, Coexistence, Competition, Exploitation, Mutualism",
author = "Jones, {Emily I.} and Ferriere, {Regis H J} and Bronstein, {Judith L}",
year = "2009",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1086/647971",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "174",
pages = "780--794",
journal = "American Naturalist",
issn = "0003-0147",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Eco-evolutionary dynamics of mutualists and exploiters

AU - Jones, Emily I.

AU - Ferriere, Regis H J

AU - Bronstein, Judith L

PY - 2009/12

Y1 - 2009/12

N2 - With the growing recognition of exploiters as a prominent and enduring feature of many mutualisms, there is a need to understand the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of mutualisms in the context of exploitation. Here, we model coevolution between mutualist and exploiter birth rates, using an obligate pollinating seed parasite mutualism associated with a nonpollinating exploiter as a reference system. In this system, mutualist and exploiter larvae parasitize the host plant, competing for and consuming seeds. Evolution of the mutualist determines which exploiters can invade successfully. Subsequent coevolution with an exploiter has a strong, predictable influence on mutualist-exploiter coexistence, mutualist and exploiter phenotypes, and species abundances. Weak mutualist competition promotes "evolutionary purging" of the exploiter, while weak exploiter competition leads to "evolutionary suicide" of the system. When stable, long-term coexistence occurs, we identify two main "trait-abundance syndromes" that have three novel implications. (1) Persistent, highly parasitic exploiters can be favored by coevolution. (2) Even then, the density of coevolved mutualists can be high. (3) Low plant density results primarily from the evolution of mutualist, not exploiter, birth rate and density. To evaluate these predictions, studies are needed that identify and compare populations with and without exploiters and compare life-history traits of mutualists and exploiters.

AB - With the growing recognition of exploiters as a prominent and enduring feature of many mutualisms, there is a need to understand the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of mutualisms in the context of exploitation. Here, we model coevolution between mutualist and exploiter birth rates, using an obligate pollinating seed parasite mutualism associated with a nonpollinating exploiter as a reference system. In this system, mutualist and exploiter larvae parasitize the host plant, competing for and consuming seeds. Evolution of the mutualist determines which exploiters can invade successfully. Subsequent coevolution with an exploiter has a strong, predictable influence on mutualist-exploiter coexistence, mutualist and exploiter phenotypes, and species abundances. Weak mutualist competition promotes "evolutionary purging" of the exploiter, while weak exploiter competition leads to "evolutionary suicide" of the system. When stable, long-term coexistence occurs, we identify two main "trait-abundance syndromes" that have three novel implications. (1) Persistent, highly parasitic exploiters can be favored by coevolution. (2) Even then, the density of coevolved mutualists can be high. (3) Low plant density results primarily from the evolution of mutualist, not exploiter, birth rate and density. To evaluate these predictions, studies are needed that identify and compare populations with and without exploiters and compare life-history traits of mutualists and exploiters.

KW - Adaptive dynamics

KW - Coevolution

KW - Coexistence

KW - Competition

KW - Exploitation

KW - Mutualism

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=72449168521&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=72449168521&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/647971

DO - 10.1086/647971

M3 - Article

VL - 174

SP - 780

EP - 794

JO - American Naturalist

JF - American Naturalist

SN - 0003-0147

IS - 6

ER -