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sábado, novembro 01, 2014

Running with the Red Queen: the role of biotic conflicts in evolution

Michael A. Brockhurst1⇑, Tracey Chapman2, Kayla C. King3, Judith E. Mank4, Steve Paterson5 and Gregory D. D. Hurst5

- Author Affiliations

1Department of Biology, University of York, Wentworth Way, York YO10 5DD, UK
2School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
3Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
4Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
5Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZB, UK


What are the causes of natural selection? Over 40 years ago, Van Valen proposed the Red Queen hypothesis, which emphasized the primacy of biotic conflict over abiotic forces in driving selection. Species must continually evolve to survive in the face of their evolving enemies, yet on average their fitness remains unchanged. We define three modes of Red Queen coevolution to unify both fluctuating and directional selection within the Red Queen framework. Empirical evidence from natural interspecific antagonisms provides support for each of these modes of coevolution and suggests that they often operate simultaneously. We argue that understanding the evolutionary forces associated with interspecific interactions requires incorporation of a community framework, in which new interactions occur frequently. During their early phases, these newly established interactions are likely to drive fast evolution of both parties. We further argue that a more complete synthesis of Red Queen forces requires incorporation of the evolutionary conflicts within species that arise from sexual reproduction. Reciprocally, taking the Red Queen's perspective advances our understanding of the evolution of these intraspecific conflicts.

Red Queen hypothesis coevolution sexual selection

Received June 12, 2014.
Accepted September 10, 2014.

© 2014 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.