Artificial selection for predatory behaviour results in dietary niche differentiation in an omnivorous mammal
Hämäläinen, A., Kiljunen, M., Koskela, E., Koteja, P., Mappes, T., Rajala, M., & Tiainen, K. (2022). Artificial selection for predatory behaviour results in dietary niche differentiation in an omnivorous mammal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences, 289(1970), Article 20212510. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.2510
© 2022 The Authors
The diet of an individual is a result of the availability of dietary items and the individual's foraging skills and preferences. Behavioural differences may thus influence diet variation, but the evolvability of diet choice through behavioural evolution has not been studied. We used experimental evolution combined with a field enclosure experiment to test whether behavioural selection leads to dietary divergence. We analysed the individual dietary niche via stable isotope ratios of nitrogen (δ15N) and carbon (δ13C) in the hair of an omnivorous mammal, the bank vole, from four lines selected for predatory behaviour and four unselected control lines. Predatory voles had higher hair δ15N values than control voles, supporting our hypothesis that predatory voles would consume a higher trophic level diet (more animal versus plant foods). This difference was significant in the early but not the late summer season. The δ13C values also indicated a seasonal change in the consumed plant matter and a difference in food sources among selection lines in the early summer. These results imply that environmental factors interact with evolved behavioural tendencies to determine dietary niche heterogeneity. Behavioural selection thus has potential to contribute to the evolution of diet choice and ultimately the species' ecological niche breadth. ...
PublisherThe Royal Society
Publication in research information system
MetadataShow full item record
Related funder(s)Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Joint International Project, AoF; Academy Project, AoF
Additional information about fundingFunding was obtained from the Academy of Finland (projects 324605, 326533 to T.M.) and National Science Centre (NCN, Poland) (2018/29/B/NZ8/01924 to A.H.). The base colony of the voles (the selection experiment) was funded by NCN (2016/23/B/NZ8/00888 to P.K.) and Jagiellonian University (project DS/WBINOZ/INOS/757).
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