The evolution of habitat choice facilitates niche expansion
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About the Event
Matching habitat choice and local adaptation are two key factors that control the distribution and diversification of species. We study their joint evolution in a structured metapopulation model with a continuous distribution of habitats. Habitat choice follows as the outcome of dispersal with non-random immigration, a process always acknowledged yet rarely incorporated into theoretical models. For fixed local adaptation, we find the evolutionarily stable habitat choice as a function linking the probability of settlement to the local environment. When the local adaptation trait co-evolves, the metapopulation can become polymorphic. Our main result shows that coexisting strains with only slightly different local adaptation traits evolve substantially different habitat choice. In turn, different habitat use selects for divergent local adaptations. We thus propose that the joint evolution of habitat choice and local adaptation can facilitate niche expansion via diversification under wide conditions, also when the local adaptation trait evolving alone would attain an ESS restricted to a narrower niche.
30 minutesThe evolution of habitat choice facilitates niche expansion
15 minutesContributed talk 1