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Metabolic rate covaries with fitness and the pace of the life history in the field

Author:
  • Amanda K. Pettersen
  • Craig R. White
  • Dustin J. Marshall
Publishing year: 2016-05-25
Language: English
Pages:
Publication/Series: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume: 283
Issue: 1831
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Royal Society

Abstract english

Metabolic rate reflects the ‘pace of life’ in every organism. Metabolic rate is related to an organism’s capacity for essential maintenance, growth and reproduction-all of which interact to affect fitness. Although thousands of measurements of metabolic rate have been made, the microevolutionary forces that shape metabolic rate remain poorly resolved. The relationship between metabolic rate and components of fitness are often inconsistent, possibly because these fitness components incompletely map to actual fitness and often negatively covary with each other. Here we measure metabolic rate across ontogeny and monitor its effects on actual fitness (lifetime reproductive output) for a marine bryozoan in the field.We also measure key components of fitness throughout the entire life history including growth rate, longevity and age at the onset of reproduction.We found that correlational selection favours individuals with higher metabolic rates in one stage and lower metabolic rates in the other-individuals with similar metabolic rates in each developmental stage displayed the lowest fitness. Furthermore, individuals with the lowest metabolic rates lived for longer and reproduced more, but they also grew more slowly and took longer to reproduce initially. That metabolic rate is related to the pace of the life history in nature has long been suggested by macroevolutionary patterns but this study reveals the microevolutionary processes that probably generated these patterns.

Keywords

  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Fitness
  • Longevity
  • Metabolism
  • Ontogeny
  • Reproduction
  • Selection

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 0962-8452
Amanda Pettersen
E-mail: amanda [dot] pettersen [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Postdoctoral fellow

Evolutionary ecology

Sölvegatan 37, Lund

50

Research group

Evolutionary Biology

Projects

 

Postdoc host

Tobias Uller