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Adaptive developmental plasticity in a butterfly: mechanisms for size and time at pupation differ between diapause and direct development
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Number of Authors: 4
2017 (English)In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, ISSN 0024-4066, E-ISSN 1095-8312, Vol. 122, no 1, 46-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Diapause (overwintering) and direct development are alternative developmental pathways in temperate insects. Diapause necessitates physiological preparations for dormancy, while direct development is associated with strong time constraints, resulting in selection for fast development under the direct development pathway. Physiological and behavioural preparations for pupation contribute to development time, so divergent selection in them is expected between the alternative developmental pathways. Critical mass for pupation induction is a central physiological parameter for the pupation process. Here, we compare the critical masses and the characteristics of the wandering stage - wandering taking place after the cessation of growth and before pupation - between diapausing and directly developing larvae in the butterfly Pieris napi. Critical mass estimation succeeded only for diapausing individuals, among which it was lower in females than in males, indicating an inter-pathway difference in the physiology of critical mass. Directly developing individuals wandered for a shorter time and distance and lost less mass before pupation than diapausing individuals. These physiological and behavioural differences represent adaptive phenotypic plasticity and contribute to fast development under direct development. Thus, the observed developmental plasticity in physiology offers a mechanistic explanation for adaptive life-history variation between alternative developmental pathways and sexual dimorphism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 122, no 1, 46-57 p.
Keyword [en]
body size, critical mass, development time, developmental pathways, phenotypic plasticity, Pieris napi
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147896DOI: 10.1093/biolinnean/blx047ISI: 000409213700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-147896DiVA: diva2:1150682
Available from: 2017-10-19 Created: 2017-10-19 Last updated: 2017-10-19Bibliographically approved

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Kivelä, Sami M.Wiklund, ChristerGotthard, Karl
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