Evol Ecol Res 1: 173-188 (1999)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Character displacement mediated by the accumulation of mutations affecting resource consumption abilities

Tadeusz J. Kawecki and Peter A. Abrams

Department of Zoology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA

Address all correspondence to Tadeusz J. Kawecki, Zoologisches Institut, Rheinsprung 9, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland.


This article investigates models of ecological character displacement in which shifts in the relative resource-exploitation abilities of consumer species are driven by the accumulation of deleterious mutations with resource-specific effects. The models assume a simple ecological scenario in which there are two consumer species and two resource types. A mutation-selection balance determines the value of per-unit-resource consumption rates of each resource by each consumer species. A competitor that differentially reduces the abundance of the less-used resource of the focal consumer produces an increased equilibrium frequency of deleterious mutations affecting this resource. This results in divergent character displacement. If the reduction in the abundance of the less-used resource is sufficient, a process of mutational collapse may occur, in which the focal species becomes specialized on a single resource. Large magnitudes of displacement generally require high genomic deleterious mutation rates and mutations with a high degree of specificity to particular resources.

Keywords: character displacement, competition, deleterious mutations, ecological niche, specialization.

IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.


        © 1999 Tadeusz J. Kawecki. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

       Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.

       All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.