Browsing by Subject "INDIVIDUAL VARIATION"

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  • Prokkola, Jenni M.; Åsheim, Eirik R.; Morozov, Sergey; Bangura, Paul; Erkinaro, Jaakko; Ruokolainen, Annukka; Primmer, Craig R.; Aykanat, Tutku (2022)
    A better understanding of the genetic and phenotypic architecture underlying life-history variation is a longstanding aim in biology. Theories suggest energy metabolism determines life-history variation by modulating resource acquisition and allocation trade-offs, but the genetic underpinnings of the relationship and its dependence on ecological conditions have rarely been demonstrated. The strong genetic determination of age-at-maturity by two unlinked genomic regions (vgll3 and six6) makes Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) an ideal model to address these questions. Using more than 250 juveniles in common garden conditions, we quantified the covariation between metabolic phenotypes-standard and maximum metabolic rates (SMR and MMR), and aerobic scope (AS)-and the life-history genomic regions, and tested if food availability modulates the relationships. We found that the early maturation genotype in vgll3 was associated with higher MMR and consequently AS. Additionally, MMR exhibited physiological epistasis; it was decreased when late maturation genotypes co-occurred in both genomic regions. Contrary to our expectation, the life-history genotypes had no effects on SMR. Furthermore, food availability had no effect on the genetic covariation, suggesting a lack of genotype-by-environment interactions. Our results provide insights on the key organismal processes that link energy use at the juvenile stage to age-at-maturity, indicating potential mechanisms by which metabolism and life-history can coevolve.
  • Kluen, Edward; Rönkä, Katja Helena; Thorogood, Rose (2022)
    Information ecology theory predicts that prior experience influences current behaviour, even if the information is acquired under a different context. However, when individuals are tested to quantify personality, cognition, or stress, we usually assume that the novelty of the test is consistent among individuals. Surprisingly, this ‘gambit of prior experience’ has rarely been explored. Therefore, here we make use of a wild population of great tits (Parus major) to test if prior experience of handling and captivity influences common measures of exploration (open field tests in two novel contexts: room and cage arenas), social response (simulated using a mirror), and behavioural stress (breathing rate). We found that birds with prior experience of captivity (caught previously for unrelated learning and foraging experiments) were more exploratory, but this depended on age: exploration and captivity experience (in terms of both absolute binary experience and the length of time spent in captivity) were associated more strongly in young (first-winter) birds than in adults. However, there was no association of prior experience of captivity with social response and breathing rate, and nor did the measures of exploration correlate. Together our results suggest that re-testing of individuals requires careful consideration, particularly for younger birds, and previous experiences can carry over and affect behaviours differently.
  • Morozov, Sergey; Leinonen, Tuomas; Merilä, Juha; McCairns, R. J. Scott (2018)
    Conspecifics inhabiting divergent environments frequently differ in morphology, physiology, and performance, but the interrelationships amongst traits and with Darwinian fitness remains poorly understood. We investigated population differentiation in morphology, metabolic rate, and swimming performance in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.), contrasting a marine/ancestral population with two distinct freshwater morphotypes derived from it: the typical low-plated morph, and a unique small-plated morph. We test the hypothesis that similar to plate loss in other freshwater populations, reduction in lateral plate size also evolved in response to selection. Additionally, we test how morphology, physiology, and performance have evolved in concert as a response to differences in selection between marine and freshwater environments. We raised pure-bred second-generation fish originating from three populations and quantified their lateral plate coverage, burst- and critical swimming speeds, as well as standard and active metabolic rates. Using a multivariate Q(ST)-F-ST framework, we detected signals of directional selection on metabolic physiology and lateral plate coverage, notably demonstrating that selection is responsible for the reduction in lateral plate coverage in a small-plated stickleback population. We also uncovered signals of multivariate selection amongst all bivariate trait combinations except the two metrics of swimming performance. Divergence between the freshwater and marine populations exceeded neutral expectation in morphology and in most physiological and performance traits, indicating that adaptation to freshwater habitats has occurred, but through different combinations of traits in different populations. These results highlight both the complex interplay between morphology, physiology and performance in local adaptation, and a framework for their investigation.
  • Asheim, Eirik R.; Prokkola, Jenni M.; Morozov, Sergey; Aykanat, Tutku; Primmer, Craig R. (2022)
    Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is a species with diverse life-history strategies, to which the timing of maturation contributes considerably. Recently, the genome region including the gene vgll3 has gained attention as a locus with a large effect on Atlantic salmon maturation timing, and recent studies on the vgll3 locus in salmon have indicated that its effect might be mediated through body condition and accumulation of adipose tissue. However, the cellular and physiological pathways leading from vgll3 genotype to phenotype are still unknown. Standard metabolic rate is a potentially important trait for resource acquisition and assimilation and we hypothesized that this trait, being a proxy for the maintenance energy expenditure of an individual, could be an important link in the pathway from vgll3 genotype to maturation timing phenotype. As a first step to studying links between vgll3 and the metabolic phenotype of Atlantic salmon, we measured the standard metabolic rate of 150 first-year Atlantic salmon juveniles of both sexes, originating from 14 different families with either late-maturing or early-maturing vgll3 genotypes. No significant difference in mass-adjusted standard metabolic rate was detected between individuals with different vgll3 genotypes, indicating that juvenile salmon of different vgll3 genotypes have similar maintenance energy requirements in the experimental conditions used and that the effects of vgll3 on body condition and maturation are not strongly related to maintenance energy expenditure in either sex at this life stage.
  • Vallon, Martin; Grom, Christina; Kalb, Nadine; Sprenger, Dennis; Anthes, Nils; Lindström, Kai; Heubel, Katja U. (2016)
    Many animal parents invest heavily to ensure offspring survival, yet some eventually consume some or all of their very own young. This so-called filial cannibalism is known from a wide range of taxa, but its adaptive benefit remains largely unclear. The extent to which parents cannibalize their broods varies substantially not only between species, but also between individuals, indicating that intrinsic behavioral differences, or animal personalities, might constitute a relevant proximate trigger for filial cannibalism. Using a marine fish with extensive paternal care, the common goby (Pomatoschistus microps), we investigated the influence of animal personality on filial cannibalism by assessing (1) behavioral consistency across a breeding and a nonbreeding context; (2) correlations between different breeding (egg fanning; filial cannibalism) and nonbreeding (activity) behaviors, and, in a separate experiment; (3) whether previously established personality scores affect filial cannibalism levels. We found consistent individual differences in activity across contexts. Partial filial cannibalism was independent of egg fanning but correlated strongly with activity, where active males cannibalized more eggs than less active males. This pattern was strong initially but vanished as the breeding season progressed. The incidence of whole clutch filial cannibalism increased with activity and clutch size. Our findings indicate that filial cannibalism cannot generally be adjusted independently of male personality and is thus phenotypically less plastic than typically assumed. The present work stresses the multidimensional interaction between animal personality, individual plasticity and the environment in shaping filial cannibalism.