Domestication leads to increased predation susceptibilit
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Domestication involves adapting animals to the human-controlled environment. Genetic changes occurring during the domestication process may manifest themselves in phenotypes that render domesticated animals maladaptive for life in the wild. Domesticated Atlantic salmon frequently interbreed with wild conspecifics, and their offspring display reduced survival in the wild. However, the mechanism(s) contributing to their lower survival in the wild remains a subject of conjecture. Here, we document higher susceptibility to predation by brown trout in fast-growing domesticated salmon, as compared to their slow-growing wild conspecifics, demonstrating that directional selection for increased growth comes at a cost of decreased survival when under the risk of predation, as predicted by the growth/predation risk trade-off. Despite earlier documentation of altered risk-taking behavior, this study demonstrates for the first time that domestication of Atlantic salmon has lead to increased predation susceptibility, and that this consitutes a mechanism underpinning the observed survial differences in the wild.