Growth trades off with habitat specialization

Caley, M. Julian, and Munday, Philip L. (2003) Growth trades off with habitat specialization. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 270 (52). pp. 175-177.

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How differences in niche breadth evolve and are maintained remains largely unknown. The ‘jack of all trades is master of none’ model of resource specialization has been widely considered, but, to our knowledge, never before supported empirically. It invokes performance trade-offs associated with specialization. Specialists should outperform generalists on a subset of resources, but be unable to maintain high performance over a broader range of resources. By contrast, generalists should perform less well, on average, using a greater diversity of resources. We report such trade-offs among four coral goby species in the wild. Habitat specialists grew faster than generalists in one of two habitats. Average growth rates of generalists were less than that of specialists, but more consistent between habitats. Performance trade-offs associated with resource specialization could influence the evolution and maintenance of narrow niche breadth.

Item ID: 7063
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: coral-reef fishes; genotype-environment interection; growth; niche breadth; specialization; trade-offs
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2010 06:49
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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