Evol Ecol Res 7: 821-835 (2005)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Optimal resource allocation explains changes in the zebra mussel growth pattern through time

Marcin Czarnołęski,1* Jan Kozłowski,1 Krzysztof Lewandowski,2 Maciej Mikołajczyk,1 Tomasz Müller1 and Anna Stańczykowska2

1Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków and  2Institute of Biology, University of Podlasie, Prusa 12, 08-110 Siedlce, Poland

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: czarn@eko.uj.edu.pl


Questions: Do optimal adjustments of resource allocation to selection pressure shape lifetime growth patterns? How rapid are the changes of growth trajectories through time?

Data: Phenotypic data on age and size of the invasive mussel Dreissena polymorpha collected twice at intervals of 5 to 39 years (approximately 1.7–3.3 to 13–26 generations) from 12 European populations. Calculated shifts of mortality and production conditions through time (selection factors), changes to Bertalanffy’s growth curves, phenotypic rates of growth curve change (haldanes and darwins for Bertalanffy’s parameters).

Methods: We compared the empirical relationships between the shifts of Bertalanffy’s parameters and mortality and production indices through time with the relationships predicted by a published model of optimal resource allocation in zebra mussels.

Conclusions: Shifts of mortality and production conditions over time in the populations appeared to generate rapid optimal-like changes of Dreissena resource allocation. In line with the model predictions, changes in the mortality and production rates across time correlated positively with the shift of Bertalanffy’s growth rate parameter and negatively with the shift of asymptotic size. Across populations, the minimum phenotypic rate of change of asymptotic size and Bertalanffy’s growth coefficient ranged from 0.003 to 0.256 and from 0.038 to 0.658 haldanes (1870–86,668 and 17,773–18,7354 darwins), respectively. The phenotypic rates, controlled for the time intervals over which they were measured, were on average higher than the mean phenotypic rates derived from published data.

Keywords: Bertalanffy’s growth curve, bivalves, body size, Dreissena polymorpha, exotic species, invasions, life-history strategy, mortality, phenotypic plasticity, phenotypic rate of evolution,

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