Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Adaptation to developmental diet influences the response to selection on age at reproduction in the fruit fly
    May, Christina M. ; Heuvel, Joost van den; Doroszuk, Agnieszka ; Hoedjes, Katja M. ; Flatt, Thomas ; Zwaan, Bas J. - \ 2019
    Journal of Evolutionary Biology 32 (2019)5. - ISSN 1010-061X - p. 425 - 437.
    ageing - experimental evolution - life-history evolution - phenotypic plasticity

    Experimental evolution (EE) is a powerful tool for addressing how environmental factors influence life-history evolution. While in nature different selection pressures experienced across the lifespan shape life histories, EE studies typically apply selection pressures one at a time. Here, we assess the consequences of adaptation to three different developmental diets in combination with classical selection for early or late reproduction in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We find that the response to each selection pressure is similar to that observed when they are applied independently, but the overall magnitude of the response depends on the selection regime experienced in the other life stage. For example, adaptation to increased age at reproduction increased lifespan across all diets; however, the extent of the increase was dependent on the dietary selection regime. Similarly, adaptation to a lower calorie developmental diet led to faster development and decreased adult weight, but the magnitude of the response was dependent on the age-at-reproduction selection regime. Given that multiple selection pressures are prevalent in nature, our findings suggest that trade-offs should be considered not only among traits within an organism, but also among adaptive responses to different—sometimes conflicting—selection pressures, including across life stages.

    Effects of fishing during the spawning period: implications for sustainable management
    Overzee, H.M.J. van; Rijnsdorp, A.D. - \ 2015
    Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 25 (2015)1. - ISSN 0960-3166 - p. 65 - 83.
    cod gadus-morhua - loligo-vulgaris-reynaudii - north-sea plaice - halibut hippoglossus-stenolepis - palinurus-elephas fabricius - pleuronectes-platessa l - life-history evolution - coral-reef fish - atlantic cod - closed areas
    While fishery closures during the spawning season are commonplace, direct evidence for their benefit is mainly restricted to species forming large spawning aggregations. This paper analyses the conditions under which spawning closures could contribute to sustainable fisheries management by reviewing how fishing during spawning may affect the physiology, behaviour and ecology of individuals and how this may influence the dynamics and the genetics of the population. We distinguish between the effects of fishing activities in relation to mortality, disturbance of spawning activity, and impact on spawning habitat. Spawning closures may be of benefit it they: (1) reduce the fishing mortality of the large and older spawners; (2) avoid negative effects on spawning habitats; (3) reduce the risk of over-exploitation in species which form large spawning aggregations; (4) reduce the evolutionary effects on maturation and reproductive investment; and (5) reduce the risk of over-exploitation of specific spawning components. The contribution of spawning closures to sustainable fisheries will differ among species and depends on the complexity of the spawning system, the level of aggregation during spawning and the vulnerability of the spawning habitat. The importance of these closures depends on the degree of population depletion but does not cease when populations are ‘healthy’ (i.e. no sign that recruitment is impaired).
    Evolutionary impact assessment: accounting for evolutionary consequences of fishing in an ecosystem approach to fisheries management
    Laugen, A.T. ; Engelhard, G.H. ; Whitlock, R. ; Mollet, F.M. ; Rijnsdorp, A.D. - \ 2014
    Fish and Fisheries 15 (2014)1. - ISSN 1467-2960 - p. 65 - 96.
    cod gadus-morhua - maturation reaction norms - effective population-size - life-history evolution - north-sea plaice - pike esox-lucius - herring clupea-harengus - eco-genetic model - atlantic cod - marine fish
    Managing fisheries resources to maintain healthy ecosystems is one of the main goals of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF). While a number of international treaties call for the implementation of EAF, there are still gaps in the underlying methodology. One aspect that has received substantial scientific attention recently is fisheries-induced evolution (FIE). Increasing evidence indicates that intensive fishing has the potential to exert strong directional selection on life-history traits, behaviour, physiology, and morphology of exploited fish. Of particular concern is that reversing evolutionary responses to fishing can be much more difficult than reversing demographic or phenotypically plastic responses. Furthermore, like climate change, multiple agents cause FIE, with effects accumulating over time. Consequently, FIE may alter the utility derived from fish stocks, which in turn can modify the monetary value living aquatic resources provide to society. Quantifying and predicting the evolutionary effects of fishing is therefore important for both ecological and economic reasons. An important reason this is not happening is the lack of an appropriate assessment framework. We therefore describe the evolutionary impact assessment (EvoIA) as a structured approach for assessing the evolutionary consequences of fishing and evaluating the predicted evolutionary outcomes of alternative management options. EvoIA can contribute to EAF by clarifying how evolution may alter stock properties and ecological relations, support the precautionary approach to fisheries management by addressing a previously overlooked source of uncertainty and risk, and thus contribute to sustainable fisheries.
    Economic repercussions of fisheries-induced evolution
    Eikeset, A.M. ; Richter, A.P. ; Dunlop, E.S. ; Dieckmann, U. ; Stenseth, N.C. - \ 2013
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110 (2013)30. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 12259 - 12264.
    northeast arctic cod - life-history evolution - natural mortality - reference points - gadus-morhua - fish stocks - consequences - population - management - size
    Fish stocks experiencing high fishing mortality show a tendency to mature earlier and at a smaller size, which may have a genetic component and therefore long-lasting economic and biological effects. To date, the economic effects of such ecoevolutionary dynamics have not been empirically investigated. Using 70 y of data, we develop a bioeconomic model for Northeast Arctic cod to compare the economic yield in a model in which life-history traits can vary only through phenotypic plasticity with a model in which, in addition, genetic changes can occur. We find that evolutionary changes toward faster growth and earlier maturation occur consistently even if a stock is optimally managed. However, if a stock is managed optimally, the evolutionary changes actually increase economic yield because faster growth and earlier maturation raise the stock’s productivity. The optimal fishing mortality is almost identical for the evolutionary and nonevolutionary model and substantially lower than what it has been historically. Therefore, the costs of ignoring evolution under optimal management regimes are negligible. However, if fishing mortality is as high as it has been historically, evolutionary changes may result in economic losses, but only if the fishery is selecting for medium-sized individuals. Because evolution facilitates growth, the fish are younger and still immature when they are susceptible to getting caught, which outweighs the increase in productivity due to fish spawning at an earlier age.
    Can fisheries-induced evolution shift reference points for fisheries management?
    Heino, M. ; Baulier, L. ; Boukal, D.S. ; Mollet, F.M. ; Rijnsdorp, A.D. - \ 2013
    ICES Journal of Marine Science 70 (2013)4. - ISSN 1054-3139 - p. 707 - 721.
    cod gadus-morhua - north-sea plaice - life-history evolution - exploited fish stocks - pleuronectes-platessa l - eco-genetic model - atlantic cod - population-dynamics - reproductive investment - natural mortality
    Biological reference points are important tools for fisheries management. Reference points are not static, but may change when a population's environment or the population itself changes. Fisheries-induced evolution is one mechanism that can alter population characteristics, leading to “shifting” reference points by modifying the underlying biological processes or by changing the perception of a fishery system. The former causes changes in “true” reference points, whereas the latter is caused by changes in the yardsticks used to quantify a system's status. Unaccounted shifts of either kind imply that reference points gradually lose their intended meaning. This can lead to increased precaution, which is safe, but potentially costly. Shifts can also occur in more perilous directions, such that actual risks are greater than anticipated. Our qualitative analysis suggests that all commonly used reference points are susceptible to shifting through fisheries-induced evolution, including the limit and “precautionary” reference points for spawning-stock biomass, Blim and Bpa, and the target reference point for fishing mortality, F0.1. Our findings call for increased awareness of fisheries-induced changes and highlight the value of always basing reference points on adequately updated information, to capture all changes in the biological processes that drive fish population dynamics.
    Ecological and economic trade-offs in the management of mixed fisheries: a case study of spawning closures in flatfish fisheries
    Rijnsdorp, A.D. ; Overzee, H.M.J. van; Poos, J.J. - \ 2012
    Marine Ecology Progress Series 447 (2012). - ISSN 0171-8630 - p. 179 - 194.
    north-sea plaice - pleuronectes-platessa l - life-history evolution - evolving fish stocks - demersal fisheries - ecosystem approach - reaction norms - adult plaice - impact - communities
    As a contribution to the ecosystem approach to fisheries management, we estimated the effects of spawning closures on stock status, ecosystem impacts and economic performance. We focused on the flatfish fishery in the North Sea and explored how spawning closures for plaice and sole contribute to sustainable management of 4 target species (sole, plaice, turbot and brill). Seasonal patterns in fishing effort and catchability by age group and area were estimated to quantify the effect of different spawning closure scenarios on the selection pattern. The scenario performance was evaluated using indicators of stock status (spawning stock biomass), economic performance of the fishery (yield, revenue) and ecosystem impact (discards, bycatch of cod and rays, seabed integrity, fisheries-induced evolution). In a single-species context, spawning closures may be beneficial for the target species, while in a mixed fisheries and ecosystem context, negative effects may occur. A spawning closure for plaice combines positive effects on the plaice stock and the revenue with reductions of the negative impact for several ecosystem indicators and only a small negative effect on sea bed integrity. The effects did not differ when evaluated at current levels of effort or at maximum sustainable yield (MSY) effort. Tailor-made solutions are required that need to be developed in stakeholder consultation to trade-off the ecological and economic objectives. Mixed-species MSY was lower than the sum of the single-species MSYs.
    Rapid adaptive adjustment of parental care coincident with altered migratory behaviour
    Jonker, R.M. ; Kurvers, R.H.J.M. ; Bilt, A. van de; Faber, M. ; Wieren, S.E. van; Prins, H.H.T. ; Ydenberg, R.C. - \ 2012
    Evolutionary Ecology 26 (2012)3. - ISSN 0269-7653 - p. 657 - 667.
    life-history evolution - barnacle geese - population - bird - predation - selection - meerkats
    The optimal duration of parental care is shaped by the trade-off between investment in current and expected future reproductive success. A change in migratory behaviour is expected to affect the optimal duration of parental care, because migration and non-migration differ in expectations of future reproductive success as a result of differential adult and/or offspring mortality. Here we studied how a recent emergence of non-migratory behaviour has affected the duration of parental care in the previously (until the 1980s) strictly migratory Russian breeding population of the barnacle geese Branta leucopsis. As a measure of parental care, we compared the vigilance behaviour of parents and non-parents in both migratory and non-migratory barnacle geese throughout the season. We estimated the duration of parental care at 233 days for migratory and 183 days for non-migratory barnacle geese. This constitutes a shortening of the duration of parental care of 21% in 25 years. Barnacle geese are thus able to rapidly adapt their parental care behaviour to ecological conditions associated with altered migratory behaviour. Our study demonstrates that a termination of migratory behaviour resulted in a drastic reduction in parental care and highlights the importance of studying the ecological and behavioural consequences of changes in migratory behaviour and the consequences of these changes for life-history evolution
    The role of physiology in the divergence of two incipient cichlid species
    Dijkstra, P.D. ; Wiegertjes, G.F. ; Forlenza, M. ; Sluijs, I. van der; Hofmann, H.A. ; Metcalfe, N.B. ; Groothuis, T.G. - \ 2011
    Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24 (2011)12. - ISSN 1010-061X - p. 2639 - 2652.
    male-male competition - life-history evolution - lake-victoria - oxidative stress - sexual selection - trade-offs - immunocompetence handicap - sympatric speciation - individual variation - aggressive-behavior
    Sexual selection on male coloration has been implicated in the evolution of colourful species flocks of East African cichlid fish. During adaptive radiations, animals diverge in multiple phenotypic traits, but the role of physiology has received limited attention. Here, we report how divergence in physiology may contribute to the stable coexistence of two hybridizing incipient species of cichlid fish from Lake Victoria. Males of Pundamilia nyererei (males are red) tend to defeat those of Pundamilia pundamilia (males are blue), yet the two sibling species coexist in nature. It has been suggested that red males bear a physiological cost that might offset their dominance advantage. We tested the hypothesis that the two species differ in oxidative stress levels and immune function and that this difference is correlated with differences in circulating steroid levels. We manipulated the social context and found red males experienced significantly higher oxidative stress levels than blue males, but only in a territorial context when colour and aggression are maximally expressed. Red males exhibited greater aggression levels and lower humoral immune response than blue males, but no detectable difference in steroid levels. Red males appear to trade off increased aggressiveness with physiological costs, contributing to the coexistence of the two species. Correlated divergence in colour, behaviour and physiology might be widespread in the dramatically diverse cichlid radiations in East African lakes and may play a crucial role in the remarkably rapid speciation of these fish.
    Fisheries-induced evolution in growth, maturation and reporductive investment of the sexually dimorphic North Sea plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L.)
    Walraven, L. van; Mollet, F.M. ; Damme, C.J.G. van; Rijnsdorp, A.D. - \ 2010
    Journal of Sea Research 64 (2010)1-2. - ISSN 1385-1101 - p. 85 - 93.
    estimating reaction norms - size-selective mortality - life-history evolution - evolving fish stocks - cod gadus-morhua - body-composition - seasonal-changes - somatic growth - age - populations
    Changes in the onset of sexual maturation, reproductive investment and growth of North Sea plaice are studied between three periods: 1900s, 1980s and 2000s. Probabilistic maturation reaction norms of both males and females, describing the probability of becoming mature conditional on age and size, shifted towards smaller sizes and younger ages, indicating a fisheries-induced evolutionary change. A higher rate of change was observed during the past 20 years, which may be related to higher temperature conditions. Reproductive investment was estimated from the decrease in lipid, protein, dry weight content and condition factor of the whole body between pre- and post-spawning adults. Reproductive investment expressed as the energy loss over the spawning period increased with body size from 19% at 20 cm to 30% at 40 cm in males and from 35% at 30 cm to 48% at 50 cm in females. No change in reproductive investment could be detected between the 1980s and the 2000s. Von Bertalanffy (VB) growth parameters showed a decrease in L8 the asymptotic size and an increase in K, the velocity to reach L8, in both males and females. The changes in VB growth are consistent with an increase in energy acquisition and reproductive investment. The observed changes in maturation, reproductive investment and growth are consistent with fisheries-induced evolution, but the changes in reproductive investment and growth need further investigation to disentangle the role of phenotypic plasticity
    Fisheries-induced evolutionary changes in maturation reaction norms in North Sea sole Solea solea
    Mollet, F.M. ; Kraak, S.B.M. ; Rijnsdorp, A.D. - \ 2007
    Marine Ecology Progress Series 351 (2007). - ISSN 0171-8630 - p. 189 - 199.
    pleuronectes-platessa l - life-history evolution - long-term changes - cod gadus-morhua - coral-reef fish - phenotypic plasticity - natural-populations - social inhibition - sexual maturity - egg size
    Age and size at maturation decreased in several commercially exploited fish stocks, which, according to life history theory, may be due to fisheries-induced evolutionary change. However, the observed changes may also represent a plastic response to environmental variability. To disentangle phenotypic plasticity from evolutionary change, the probabilistic reaction norm approach was applied to 43 cohorts (1960 to 2002) of female sole Solea solea from market samples. The reaction norm for age and size at first maturation has significantly shifted towards younger age and smaller size. Size at 50% probability of maturation at Age 3 decreased from 28.6 cm (251 g) to 24.6 cm (128 g). This change was even stronger when condition was included as a third dimension in the reaction norm estimation. The influence of alternative factors was tested on the population level by regression of reaction norm midpoints on annual estimates of condition, temperature and competitive biomass. Although effects of temperature and competitive biomass were significant, the variation in the midpoints was best explained by the decreasing time trend. Therefore, the results provide strong evidence for a fisheries-induced evolutionary change in the onset of sexual maturity.
    Three-dimensional maturation reaction norms for North Sea plaice
    Grift, R.E. ; Heino, M. ; Rijnsdorp, A.D. ; Kraak, S.B.M. ; Dieckmann, U. - \ 2007
    Marine Ecology Progress Series 334 (2007). - ISSN 0171-8630 - p. 213 - 224.
    pleuronectes-platessa l - life-history evolution - cod gadus-morhua - hippoglossoides-platessoides - sexual-maturation - back-calculation - growth - size - age - reproduction
    Probabilistic maturation reaction norms (PMRNs) with up to three explanatory dimensions were estimated for female North Sea plaice. The three-dimensional PMRNs reported here (1) are the first ones to be obtained for any organism, (2) reveal the differential capacity of alternative life-history state variables to predict the onset of reproduction, (3) document consistent temporal trends in maturation, and (4) help disentangle the contributions of genetic and plastic effects to these trends. We first show that PMRNs based on age and weight provide slightly more accurate approximations of maturation probabilities than PMRNs based on age and length. At the same time, weight-based PMRNs imply a much wider spread of maturation probabilities than length-based PMRNs. We then demonstrate that including condition as a third explanatory variable improves predictions of maturation probability. The resultant three-dimensional PMRNs for age-length-condition or age-weight-condition not only show how, at given size and age, maturation probability increases with condition, but also expose how this impact of condition decreases with age and has changed over time. Our analysis reveals several interesting temporal trends. First, it is demonstrated that, even after removing plastic effects on maturation captured by age, length, weight, and condition, residual trends towards maturation at younger ages and smaller lengths remain. Second, we find that the width of both length- and weight-based PMRNs decreased significantly over time. Third, age and condition are nowadays affecting maturation probabilities less than they did decades ago. We think that plaice is currently maturing at a very low age, size and body condition, and think that the narrow and steep reaction norms do not allow a strong continuation of the observed trends. All obtained findings are in good agreement with predictions from life-history theory based on the hypothesis of evolutionary change caused by heavy exploitation
    Fisheries-induced adaptive change in reproductive investment in North Sea plaice (Pleuronectes platessa)?
    Rijnsdorp, A.D. ; Grift, R.E. ; Kraak, S.B.M. - \ 2005
    Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 62 (2005)4. - ISSN 0706-652X - p. 833 - 843.
    cod gadus-morhua - life-history evolution - beam-trawl effort - reaction norms - somatic growth - trade-offs - maturation - fecundity - size - age
    Life history theory predicts that fishing may select for increased reproductive investment. A model of the reaction norm for reproductive investment in a capital breeder was developed to disentangle changes in reproductive investment from changes in growth rate in North Sea plaice (Pleuronectes platessa). Trends in reproductive investment since 1960 were estimated as (i) the decrease in body weight of mature males and females between the start and end of the spawning period, (ii) the difference in weight of ripe and spent females, and (iii) the ovary weight of prespawning females. These estimates were related to somatic growth estimated by back-calculation of otoliths and temperature. The ovary weight and weight loss of females that had just started and just finished spawning did not reveal any trends. There was a significant increase in weight loss over the spawning season in both sexes, but much of this increase was likely due to changes in environmental conditions. Evidence for a fisheries-induced change in reproductive investment from our analyses thus remained inconclusive. However, fecundity and ovary-weight data from previous studies tentatively suggest that an increase in reproductive investment occurred between the late 1940s and the 1960s. Such an increase is consistent with a fisheries-induced evolutionary change
    Fisheries-induced trends n reaction norms for maturation in North Sea plaice
    Grift, R.E. ; Rijnsdorp, A.D. ; Barot, S. ; Heino, M. ; Dieckmann, U. - \ 2003
    Marine Ecology Progress Series 257 (2003)(2003). - ISSN 0171-8630 - p. 247 - 257.
    pleuronectes-platessa l - life-history evolution - size-selective mortality - beam-trawl effort - back-calculation - growth - age - reproduction - population - maturity
    We analyse how intensive exploitation may have caused evolutionary changes in the age and length at maturation in North Sea plaice Pleuronectes platessa. Such evolutionary change in the onset of maturation is expected, given that fishing mortality is more than 4 times higher than natural mortality. In order to disentangle phenotypic plasticity from evolutionary change, we employ the probabilistic reaction-norm approach. This technique allows us to estimate the probabilities of maturing at each relevant age and size, and to disentangle the plasticity in age and size at maturation that results from changes in growth rates from evolutionary changes in maturation propensities themselves. This recently developed method is applied here to females of 41 cohorts (1955 to 1995) of North Sea plaice. We focus on trends in fishing mortality, in growth rates, and in the probabilities of maturing, and test the hypothesis that the decrease in age and length at maturation is partly caused by fisheries-induced adaptive change. We find that the reaction norm for age and length at maturation has indeed significantly shifted towards younger age and smaller length. The reaction-norm analysis suggests a picture in which short-term fluctuations originating from plastic responses are superimposed on a persistent long-term trend resulting from genetic responses and higher body growth.
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