Coevolution, diversification and alternative states in two-trophic communities

Northfield, Tobin D., Ripa, Jörgen, Nell, Lucas A., and Ives, Anthony R. (2021) Coevolution, diversification and alternative states in two-trophic communities. Ecology Letters, 24 (2). pp. 269-278.

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Abstract

Single-trait eco-evolutionary models of arms races between consumers and their resource species often show inhibition rather than promotion of community diversification. In contrast, modelling arms races involving multiple traits, we found that arms races can promote diversification when trade-off costs among traits make simultaneous investment in multiple traits either more beneficial or more costly. Coevolution between resource and consumer species generates an adaptive landscape for each, with the configuration giving predictable suites of consumer and resource species. Nonetheless, the adaptive landscape contains multiple alternative stable states, and which stable community is reached depends on small stochastic differences occurring along evolutionary pathways. Our results may solve a puzzling conflict between eco-evolutionary theory that predicts community diversification via consumer-resource interactions will be rare, and empirical research that has uncovered real cases. Furthermore, our results suggest that these real cases might be just a subset of alternative stable communities.

Item ID: 66136
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1461-0248
Keywords: Coexistence, community structure, divergence, predator, prey
Copyright Information: © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Funders: National Science Foundation (NSF), USA
Projects and Grants: NSF Grant Number: Dimensions of Biodiversity 1556208
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2020 07:34
Downloads: Total: 6
Last 12 Months: 1
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