Coevolutionary interactions are thought to play a crucial role in diversification of hosts and parasitoids. Furthermore, resource availability has been shown to be a fundamental driver of species diversity. Yet, we still do not have a clear understanding of how resource availability mediates the diversity generated by coevolution between hosts and parasitoids over time. We used experiments with bacteria and bacteriophage to test how resources affect variation in the competitive ability of resistant hosts and temporal patterns of diversity in the host and parasitoid as a result of antagonistic coevolution. Bacteria and bacteriophage coevolved for over 150 bacterial generations under high and low-resource conditions. We measured relative competitive ability of the resistant hosts and phenotypic diversity of hosts and parasitoids after the initial invasion of resistant mutants and again at the end of the experiment. Variation in relative competitive ability of the hosts was both time- and environment-dependent. The diversity of resistant hosts, and the abundance of host-range mutants attacking these phenotypes, differed among environments and changed over time, but the direction of these changes differed between the host and parasitoid. Our results demonstrate that patterns of fitness and diversity resulting from coevolutionary interactions can be highly dynamic.
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Vol. 62 • No. 8