Their results demonstrate how predators direct and indirect effects shaped the way killifish evolved:
Study results appear in the Jan. 15 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Research has generally focused on the evolutionary implications of the direct effects of interactions between predator and prey, said Walsh, a graduate student working in Reznicks lab in the Department of Biology and the first author of the research paper. But we found that the indirect effects of these interactions can be as important. Clearly, organisms become adapted to a given food level and evolve to best exploit their resources.
The researchers argue that in addition to killing prey, the indirect evolutionary and ecological effects of predators cause a restructuring of the community, which in turn contributes to shaping how killifish evolve.
Removing predators will not only alter the structure of the ecosystem, but will also cause a wider diver
|Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala|
University of California - Riverside