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Predation pressure shapes brain anatomy in the wild
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3473-1402
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Number of Authors: 4
2017 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology, ISSN 0269-7653, E-ISSN 1573-8477, Vol. 31, no 5, 619-633 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is remarkable diversity in brain anatomy among vertebrates and evidence is accumulating that predatory interactions are crucially important for this diversity. To test this hypothesis, we collected female guppies (Poecilia reticulata) from 16 wild populations and related their brain anatomy to several aspects of predation pressure in this ecosystem, such as the biomass of the four major predators of guppies (one prawn and three fish species), and predator diversity (number of predatory fish species in each site). We found that populations from localities with higher prawn biomass had relatively larger telencephalon size as well as larger brains. Optic tectum size was positively associated with one of the fish predator's biomass and with overall predator diversity. However, both olfactory bulb and hypothalamus size were negatively associated with the biomass of another of the fish predators. Hence, while fish predator occurrence is associated with variation in brain anatomy, prawn occurrence is associated with variation in brain size. Our results suggest that cognitive challenges posed by local differences in predator communities may lead to changes in prey brain anatomy in the wild.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 31, no 5, 619-633 p.
Keyword [en]
Brain anatomy, Brain size, Cognitive ability, Guppy, Predation
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147866DOI: 10.1007/s10682-017-9901-8ISI: 000410764000002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147866DiVA: diva2:1152910
Available from: 2017-10-26 Created: 2017-10-26 Last updated: 2017-10-26Bibliographically approved

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