University of Liège
Faculty of Sciences
Behavioural Biology Unit
fish amphibians birds mammals
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M. Denoël
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amphibians
 

Conservation
Polyphénisms
Behaviour

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Adaptive significance of polyphenisms


Studying the fitness of alternative phenotypes consists at determining how adaptive are variants in populations and thus how these phenotypes can persist, disappear or form new species in ecosystems. Heterochronic polyphenisms (facultative paedomorphosis: retention of larval traits at the adult stage versus metamorphosis - cannibalism: large head and teeth versus typical development) are particularly interesting models to explore these questions because large morphological and physiological changes can be produced without deep genetic modifications.

paedomorph metamorph cannibal

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Proximate causes

  • Drying
  • Density
  • Food resources
  • Body condition
 

Developmental pathways

  • Progenesis - Neoteny
  • Sexual size dimorphism
  • Metamorphosis rate
 

Ecological modelling of spatial distributions

  • Landscape ecology
  • Biogeography
  • "Hotspots"
 

Resource partitioning at the scale of the breeding site

  • Trophic specialisations
  • Predatory performance
  • Microhabitat use
  • Temporal variation
 

Prey - Predator interactions

  • Effect of fish introductions
  • Cannibalism
  • Population regulation
 

Reproductive success

  • Mating tactics
  • Fitness
  • Sexual isolation
 

Target species : Mesotriton alpestris - Lissotriton helveticus - Lissotriton vulgaris - Ambystoma tigrinum

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M. Denoël

18 September 2011


[University of Liege] [Faculty of Sciences][AFFISH][Department of Biology, Ecology and Evolution] [Behavioural Biology Unit]

 


University of Liège Faculty of Sciences