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The evolutionary ecology of fatty-acid variation: implications for consumer adaptation and diversification
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  • Cornelia Twining,
  • Joey Bernhardt,
  • Alison Derry ,
  • Cameron Hudson,
  • Asano Ishikawa,
  • Naoki Kabeya,
  • Martin Kainz,
  • Jun Kitano,
  • Carmen Kowarik,
  • Sarah Nemiah Ladd,
  • Miguel Leal,
  • Kristin Scharnweber,
  • Jeremy Shipley,
  • Blake Matthews
Cornelia Twining
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
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Joey Bernhardt
McGill University
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Alison Derry
Universite du Quebec a Montreal
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Cameron Hudson
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Asano Ishikawa
National Institute of Genetics
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Naoki Kabeya
Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
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Martin Kainz
WasserCluster Lunz
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Jun Kitano
National Institute of Genetics
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Carmen Kowarik
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Sarah Nemiah Ladd
Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg
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Miguel Leal
University of Aveiro
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Kristin Scharnweber
Uppsala Universitet
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Jeremy Shipley
Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
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Blake Matthews
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The nutritional diversity of resources can affect the adaptive evolution of consumer metabolism and consumer diversification. Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA) have a high potential to affect consumer fitness, through their widespread effects on reproduction, growth, and survival. However, few studies consider the evolution of fatty acid metabolism within an ecological context. In this review, we first document the extensive diversity in both primary producer and consumer n-3 LC-PUFA distributions among major ecosystems, between habitats, and among species within habitats. We highlight some of the key nutritional contrasts that can shape behavioral and/or metabolic adaptation in consumers, discussing how consumers can evolve in response to the spatial, seasonal, and community-level variation of resource quality. We propose a hierarchical trait-based approach for studying the evolution of consumers’ metabolic networks, and review the evolutionary genetic mechanisms underpinning consumer adaptation to n-3 LC-PUFA distributions. In doing so, we consider how the metabolic traits of consumers are hierarchically structured, from cell membrane function to maternal investment, and have strongly environment-dependent expression. Finally, we conclude with an outlook on how studying the metabolic adaptation of consumers within the context of nutritional landscapes can open up new opportunities for understanding evolutionary diversification.

Peer review status:Published

11 Oct 2020Submitted to Ecology Letters
12 Oct 2020Submission Checks Completed
12 Oct 2020Assigned to Editor
26 Oct 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
10 Dec 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Dec 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
15 Feb 20211st Revision Received
15 Feb 2021Assigned to Editor
15 Feb 2021Submission Checks Completed
22 Feb 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
07 Mar 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 Apr 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
06 Apr 20212nd Revision Received
06 Apr 2021Assigned to Editor
06 Apr 2021Submission Checks Completed
08 Apr 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
09 Apr 2021Editorial Decision: Accept
Aug 2021Published in Ecology Letters volume 24 issue 8 on pages 1709-1731. 10.1111/ele.13771