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Code and data from: Competition among small individuals hinders adaptive radiation despite ecological opportunity

Citation

ten Brink, Hanna; Seehausen, Ole (2022), Code and data from: Competition among small individuals hinders adaptive radiation despite ecological opportunity, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.0cfxpnw4f

Abstract

Ontogenetic diet shifts, where individuals change their resource use during development, are the rule rather than the exception in the animal world. Here, we aim to understand how such changes in diet during development affect the conditions for an adaptive radiation in the presence of ecological opportunity. We use a size-structured consumer–resource model and the adaptive dynamics approach to study the ecological conditions for speciation. We assume that small individuals all feed on a shared resource. Large individuals, on the other hand, have access to multiple food sources on which they can specialize. We find that competition among small individuals can hinder an adaptive radiation to unfold, despite plenty of ecological opportunity for large individuals. When small individuals experience strong competition for food, they grow slowly and only a few individuals are recruited to the larger size classes. Hence, competition for food among large individuals is weak and there is therefore no disruptive selection. In addition, initial conditions determine if an adaptive radiation occurs or not. A consumer population initially dominated by small individuals will not radiate. On the other hand, a population initially dominated by large individuals may undergo adaptive radiation and diversify into multiple species.

Funding

Eawag Fellowship