Exploring evolution of maximum growth rates in plankton.
ABSTRACT: Evolution has direct and indirect consequences on species-species interactions and the environment. However, Earth systems models describing planktonic activity invariably fail to explicitly consider organism evolution. Here we simulate the evolution of the single most important physiological characteristic of any organism as described in models-its maximum growth rate (?m). Using a low-computational-cost approach, we incorporate the evolution of ?m for each of the plankton components in a simple Nutrient-Phytoplankton-Zooplankton -style model such that the fitness advantages and disadvantages in possessing a high ?m evolve to become balanced. The model allows an exploration of parameter ranges leading to stresses, which drive the evolution of ?m. In applications of the method we show that simulations of climate change give very different projections when the evolution of ?m is considered. Thus, production may decline as evolution reshapes growth and trophic dynamics. Additionally, predictions of extinction of species may be overstated in simulations lacking evolution as the ability to evolve under changing environmental conditions supports evolutionary rescue. The model explains why organisms evolved for mature ecosystems (e.g. temperate summer, reliant on local nutrient recycling or mixotrophy), express lower maximum growth rates than do organisms evolved for immature ecosystems (e.g. temperate spring, high resource availability).
Project description:In temperate forests, some green plants, namely pyroloids (Pyroleae, Ericaceae) and some orchids, independently evolved a mode of nutrition mixing photosynthates and carbon gained from their mycorrhizal fungi (mixotrophy). Fungal carbon is more enriched in 13C than photosynthates, allowing estimation of the proportion of carbon acquired heterotrophically from fungi in plant biomass. Based on 13C enrichment, mixotrophic orchids have previously been shown to increase shoot autotrophy level over the growth season and with environmental light availability. But little is known about the plasticity of use of photosynthetic versus fungal carbon in pyroloids.Plasticity of mixotrophy with leaf age or light level (estimated from canopy openness) was investigated in pyroloids from three Estonian boreal forests. Bulk leaf 13C enrichment of five pyroloid species was compared with that of control autotrophic plants along temporal series (over one growth season) and environmental light gradients (n=405 samples).Mixotrophic 13C enrichment was detected at studied sites for Pyrola chlorantha and Orthilia secunda (except at one site for the latter), but not for Chimaphila umbellata, Pyrola rotundifolia and Moneses uniflora. Enrichment with 13C did not vary over the growth season or between leaves from current and previous years. Finally, although one co-occurring mixotrophic orchid showed 13C depletion with increasing light availability, as expected for mixotrophs, all pyroloids responded identically to autotrophic control plants along light gradients.A phylogenetic trend previously observed is further supported: mixotrophy is rarely supported by 13C enrichment in the Chimaphila + Moneses clade, whereas it is frequent in the Pyrola + Orthilia clade. Moreover, pyroloid mixotrophy does not respond plastically to ageing or to light level. This contrasts with the usual view of a convergent evolution with orchids, and casts doubt on the way pyroloids use the carbon gained from their mycorrhizal fungi, especially to replace photosynthetic carbon.
Project description:Adapting organisms face a tension between specializing their phenotypes for certain ecological tasks and developing generalist strategies that permit persistence in multiple environmental conditions. Understanding when and how generalists or specialists evolve is an important question in evolutionary dynamics. Here, we study the evolution of bacterial range expansions by selecting Escherichia coli for faster migration through porous media containing one of four different sugars supporting growth and chemotaxis. We find that selection in any one sugar drives the evolution of faster migration in all sugars. Measurements of growth and motility of all evolved lineages in all nutrient conditions reveal that the ubiquitous evolution of fast migration arises via phenotypic plasticity. Phenotypic plasticity permits evolved strains to exploit distinct strategies to achieve fast migration in each environment, irrespective of the environment in which they were evolved. Therefore, selection in a homogeneous environment drives phenotypic plasticity that improves performance in other environments.
Project description:Gestural displays are incorporated into the signaling repertoire of numerous animal species. These displays range from complex signals that involve impressive and challenging maneuvers, to simpler displays or no gesture at all. The factors that drive this evolution remain largely unclear, and we therefore investigate this issue in New World blackbirds by testing how factors related to a species' geographical distribution and social mating system predict macro-evolutionary patterns of display elaboration. We report that species inhabiting temperate regions produce more complex displays than species living in tropical regions, and we attribute this to (i) ecological factors that increase the competitiveness of the social environment in temperate regions, and (ii) different evolutionary and geological contexts under which species in temperate and tropical regions evolved. Meanwhile, we find no evidence that social mating system predicts species differences in display complexity, which is consistent with the idea that gestural displays evolve independently of social mating system. Together, these results offer some of the first insight into the role played by geographic factors and evolutionary context in the evolution of the remarkable physical displays of birds and other vertebrates.
Project description:Studies of evolutionary responses to novel environments typically consider single species or perhaps pairs of interacting species. However, all organisms co-occur with many other species, resulting in evolutionary dynamics that might not match those predicted using single species approaches. Recent theories predict that species interactions in diverse systems can influence how component species evolve in response to environmental change. In turn, evolution might have consequences for ecosystem functioning. We used experimental communities of five bacterial species to show that species interactions have a major impact on adaptation to a novel environment in the laboratory. Species in communities diverged in their use of resources compared with the same species in monocultures and evolved to use waste products generated by other species. This generally led to a trade-off between adaptation to the abiotic and biotic components of the environment, such that species evolving in communities had lower growth rates when assayed in the absence of other species. Based on growth assays and on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of resource use, all species evolved more in communities than they did in monocultures. The evolutionary changes had significant repercussions for the functioning of these experimental ecosystems: communities reassembled from isolates that had evolved in polyculture were more productive than those reassembled from isolates that had evolved in monoculture. Our results show that the way in which species adapt to new environments depends critically on the biotic environment of co-occurring species. Moreover, predicting how functioning of complex ecosystems will respond to an environmental change requires knowing how species interactions will evolve.
Project description:Translational errors occur at high rates, and they influence organism viability and the onset of genetic diseases. To investigate how organisms mitigate the deleterious effects of protein synthesis errors during evolution, a mutant yeast strain was engineered to translate a codon ambiguously (mistranslation). It thereby overloads the protein quality-control pathways and disrupts cellular protein homeostasis. This strain was used to study the capacity of the yeast genome to compensate the deleterious effects of protein mistranslation. Laboratory evolutionary experiments revealed that fitness loss due to mistranslation can rapidly be mitigated. Genomic analysis demonstrated that adaptation was primarily mediated by large-scale chromosomal duplication and deletion events, suggesting that errors during protein synthesis promote the evolution of genome architecture. By altering the dosages of numerous, functionally related proteins simultaneously, these genetic changes introduced large phenotypic leaps that enabled rapid adaptation to mistranslation. Evolution increased the level of tolerance to mistranslation through acceleration of ubiquitin-proteasome-mediated protein degradation and protein synthesis. As a consequence of rapid elimination of erroneous protein products, evolution reduced the extent of toxic protein aggregation in mistranslating cells. However, there was a strong evolutionary trade-off between adaptation to mistranslation and survival upon starvation: the evolved lines showed fitness defects and impaired capacity to degrade mature ribosomes upon nutrient limitation. Moreover, as a response to an enhanced energy demand of accelerated protein turnover, the evolved lines exhibited increased glucose uptake by selective duplication of hexose transporter genes. We conclude that adjustment of proteome homeostasis to mistranslation evolves rapidly, but this adaptation has several side effects on cellular physiology. Our work also indicates that translational fidelity and the ubiquitin-proteasome system are functionally linked to each other and may, therefore, co-evolve in nature.
Project description:Aerospace manufacturing industry is predicted to continue growing. Rising demand is triggering the current global aerospace ecosystem to evolve and adapt to challenges never faced before. New players into the aerospace manufacturing industry and the development of new ecosystems are evidencing its evolution. Understanding how the aerospace ecosystem has evolved is thus essential to prepare optimal conditions to nurture its growth. Recent studies have successfully combined economics and network science methods to map, analyse and predict the evolution of industrial ecosystems. In comparison to previous studies which apply network science-based methodologies to macro-economic research, this paper uses these methods to analyse the evolution of a particular industrial ecosystem, namely the aerospace sector. In particular, we develop bipartite country-product networks based on trade data over 25 years, to identify patterns and similarities in the evolution of developed aerospace manufacturing countries ecosystems. The analysis is elaborated at a macroscopic (network) and microscopic (nodes) levels. Motivated by studies in ecological networks, we use nestedness analysis to find patterns depicting the distribution and evolution of exported products across ecosystems. Our analysis reveals that developed ecosystems tend to become more analogous, as countries lean towards having a revealed comparative advantage (RCA) in the same group of products. Countries also tend to become more nested in their aerospace product space as they start developing a higher RCA. It is revealed that although countries develop an advantage on unique products, they also tend to increase competition with each other. Further analysis shows that manufactured products have a stronger correlation to an aerospace ecosystem than primary products; and in particular, the automotive sector shows the highest correlation with positive aerospace sector evolution. Competition between countries with well-developed aerospace ecosystems tends to centre on automotive parts, general industrial machinery, power generating machinery and equipment, and chemical materials and products.
Project description:Rapid environmental fluctuations are ubiquitous in the wild, yet majority of experimental studies mostly consider effects of slow fluctuations on organism. To test the evolutionary consequences of fast fluctuations, we conducted nine independent experimental evolution experiments with bacteria. Experimental conditions were same for all species, and we allowed them to evolve either in fluctuating temperature alternating rapidly between 20°C and 40°C or at constant 30°C temperature. After experimental evolution, we tested the performance of the clones in both rapid fluctuation and in constant environments (20°C, 30°C and 40°C). Results from experiments on these nine species were combined meta-analytically. We found that overall the clones evolved in the fluctuating environment had evolved better efficiency in tolerating fluctuations (i.e., they had higher yield in fluctuating conditions) than the clones evolved in the constant environment. However, we did not find any evidence that fluctuation-adapted clones would have evolved better tolerance to any measured constant environments (20°C, 30°C, and 40°C). Our results back up recent empirical findings reporting that it is hard to predict adaptations to fast fluctuations using tolerance curves.
Project description:Forestry reshapes ecosystems with respect to tree age structure, soil properties and vegetation composition. These changes are likely to be paralleled by shifts in microbial community composition with potential feedbacks on ecosystem functioning. Here, we assessed fungal communities across a chronosequence of managed Pinus sylvestris stands and investigated correlations between taxonomic composition and extracellular enzyme activities. Not surprisingly, clear-cutting had a negative effect on ectomycorrhizal fungal abundance and diversity. In contrast, clear-cutting favoured proliferation of saprotrophic fungi correlated with enzymes involved in holocellulose decomposition. During stand development, the re-establishing ectomycorrhizal fungal community shifted in composition from dominance by Atheliaceae in younger stands to Cortinarius and Russula species in older stands. Late successional ectomycorrhizal taxa correlated with enzymes involved in mobilisation of nutrients from organic matter, indicating intensified nutrient limitation. Our results suggest that maintenance of functional diversity in the ectomycorrhizal fungal community may sustain long-term forest production by retaining a capacity for symbiosis-driven recycling of organic nutrient pools.
Project description:Phenotypes can both evolve in response to, and affect, ecosystem change, but few examples of diverging ecosystem-effect traits have been investigated. Bony armor traits of fish are good candidates for this because they evolve rapidly in some freshwater fish populations, and bone is phosphorus rich and likely to affect nutrient recycling in aquatic ecosystems. Here, we explore how ontogeny, rearing environment, and bone allocation among body parts affect the stoichiometric phenotype (i.e., stoichiometric composition of bodies and excretion) of threespine stickleback. We use two populations from distinct freshwater lineages with contrasting lateral plating phenotypes (full vs. low plating) and their hybrids, which are mostly fully plated. We found that ontogeny, rearing environment, and body condition were the most important predictors of organismal stoichiometry. Although elemental composition was similar between both populations and their hybrids, we found significant divergence in phosphorus allocation among body parts and in phosphorus excretion rates. Overall, body armor differences did not explain variation in whole body phosphorus, phosphorus allocation, or phosphorus excretion. Evolutionary divergence between these lineages in both allocation and excretion is likely to have important direct consequences for ecosystems, but may be mediated by evolution of multiple morphological or physiological traits beyond plating phenotype.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Nutritional changes associated with the evolution of achlorophyllous, mycoheterotrophic plants have not previously been inferred with robust phylogenetic hypotheses. Variations in heterotrophy in accordance with the evolution of leaflessness were examined using a chlorophyllous-achlorophyllous species pair in Cymbidium (Orchidaceae), within a well studied phylogenetic background. METHODS: To estimate the level of mycoheterotrophy in chlorophyllous and achlorophyllous Cymbidium, natural (13)C and (15)N contents (a proxy for the level of heterotrophy) were measured in four Cymbidium species and co-existing autotrophic and mycoheterotrophic plants and ectomycorrhizal fungi from two Japanese sites. KEY RESULTS: ?(13)C and ?(15)N values of the achlorophyllous C. macrorhizon and C. aberrans indicated that they are full mycoheterotrophs. ?(13)C and ?(15)N values of the chlorophyllous C. lancifolium and C. goeringii were intermediate between those of reference autotrophic and mycoheterotrophic plants; thus, they probably gain 30-50 % of their carbon resources from fungi. These data suggest that some chlorophyllous Cymbidium exhibit partial mycoheterotrophy (= mixotrophy). CONCLUSIONS: It is demonstrated for the first time that mycoheterotrophy evolved after the establishment of mixotrophy rather than through direct shifts from autotrophy to mycoheterotrophy. This may be one of the principal patterns in the evolution of mycoheterotrophy. The results also suggest that the establishment of symbiosis with ectomycorrhizal fungi in the lineage leading to mixotrophic Cymbidium served as pre-adaptation to the evolution of the mycoheterotrophic species. Similar processes of nutritional innovations probably occurred in several independent orchid groups, allowing niche expansion and radiation in Orchidaceae, probably the largest plant family.