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Changes in behavioural trait integration following rapid ecotype divergence in an aquatic isopod.

  • Sanna Harris
  • F Eroukhmanoff
  • K K Green
  • Erik Svensson
  • Lars Pettersson
Publishing year: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 1887-1896
Publication/Series: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume: 24
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Abstract english

Colonization of new habitats can relax selection pressures, and traits or trait combinations no longer selected for might become reduced or lost. We investigated behavioural differentiation and behavioural trait integration in the freshwater isopod Asellus aquaticus. This isopod has recently colonized a novel habitat and diverged into two ecotypes which encounter different predator faunas. We investigated sex-specific behavioural differences and phenotypic integration in three behavioural assays: (i) time to emerge (TE) from a shelter, (ii) activity and (iii) escape behaviour. General activity and escape behaviour differed between ecotypes. Furthermore, general activity and TE differed between sexes. Behavioural traits were more frequently correlated in the ancestral habitat, and phenotypic integration tended to be higher in this habitat as well. Our study suggests that different predator types, but also other ecological factors such as habitat matrices and population densities, might explain the differences in behavioural integration in these ecotypes.


  • Ecology
  • antipredator behaviour
  • Asellus aquaticus
  • behavioural correlation
  • behavioural syndrome
  • phenotypic integration
  • predation
  • rapid divergence


  • ISSN: 1420-9101
Lars B. Pettersson
E-mail: lars [dot] pettersson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 38 18

+46 70 611 63 45



Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden