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  • UC Riverside
  • College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Publications: Mark Chappell

Odell JP, Chappell MA (2003) Predation intensity does not cause microevolutionary change in maximum speed or aerobic capacity in Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata: Peters). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, in press.


ABSTRACT -- We measured maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and burst speed in populations of Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) from contrasting high- and low-predation habitats but reared in "common garden" conditions. We tested two hypothesis: first, that predation, which causes rapid life-history evolution in guppies, also impacts locomotor physiology, and second, that trade-offs would occur between burst and aerobic performance.

VO2max was higher than predicted from allometry and resting VO2 was lower than predicted. There were small inter-drainage differences in male VO2max, but predation did not affect VO2max in either sex. Maximum burst speed was correlated with size; absolute burst speed was higher in females, but size-adjusted speed was greater in males. For both sexes, burst speed conformed to allometric predictions. There were differences in burst speed between drainages in females, but predation regime did not affect burst speed in either sex. We did not find a significant correlation between burst speed and VO2max, suggesting no trade-off between these traits.

These results indicate that predation-mediated evolution of guppy life-history does not produce concomitant evolution in aerobic capacity and maximum burst speed. However, other aspects of swimming performance (response latencies or acceleration) might show adaptive divergence in contrasting predation regimes.