- Eco-evolutionary perspective on life history complexity
- Award date
- 3 November 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Every organism undergoes some form of ontogenetic development, which represents the changes in size, shape, physiology, maturity status or behavior that occur during the organism's lifetime. In natural populations, ontogenetic development of organisms leads to differences in the way the organisms interact with their environment. Consequently, individuals from different developmental stages differ in the type and strength of their ecological interactions, a situation referred to as ontogenetic asymmetry. This opposes ontogenetic symmetry, which holds when individuals from different developmental stages have comparable ecological interactions. Ontogenetic asymmetry pertains to most natural populations and has large consequences for the dynamics of natural populations and communities. The research in this thesis focuses on the evolutionary origins and consequences of ontogenetic asymmetry. The general question is whether and how evolution through natural selection will lead to ontogenetic asymmetry. For this purpose mathematical models are used that combine an accurate description of life-history processes (i.e. ontogenetic development, reproduction and mortality), with ecological interactions between different populations. In chapter 2 and 3 it is described how a simple ecological setting of a consumer species feeding on a single type of food, results in the evolution of ontogenetic symmetry. In chapter 4 and 5 it is shown that increased ecological complexity through multiple ecological feedbacks can lead to the evolution of ontogenetic asymmetry. Chapter 6 describes a case in which increased ecological complexity evolves. The main result of the research in this thesis is that life-history complexity, through ontogenetic asymmetry, evolves hand-in-hand with ecological complexity.
- Please note that the acknowledgments section is not included in the thesis downloads.
Thesis (Embargo up to and including 3 November 2019)
Chapter 2: Evolution of size-dependent intraspecific competition yields paradoxical predictions on the scaling of metabolism with body size (Embargo up to and including 3 November 2019)
Chapter 3: Evolution of metabolic scaling (Embargo up to and including 3 November 2019)
Chapter 4: Cannibalism and intraguild predation community dynamics: coexistence, competitive exclusion and the loss of alternative stable states (Embargo up to and including 3 November 2019)
Chapter 5: Cannibalism prevents evolutionary suicide of ontogenetic omnivores in a life history intraguild predation system (Embargo up to and including 3 November 2019)
Chapter 6: Fisheries-induced evolution in cannibalism promotes collapses of fish populations (Embargo up to and including 3 November 2019)
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