Exploring a complex trait - the effect of larval feeding ability and unequal transition costs on the dynamics ofhost range evolution in two groups of related butterflies
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Host plant use is a complex trait, better described as the combined outcome of many interrelated traits, such as female preference and larval ability to feed, grow and survive. The necessary co-adaptation of these traits would suggest that the host shifts should be difficult to accomplish. Still, even though a large-scale conservatism can be seen in most groups, frequent changes in host use are not uncommon, suggesting that under some circumstances adding new plants to the range might not be as difficult as one might expect. In a case study on two closelyr elated butterfly genera, we investigate the effect of unequal transition costs and of including available data on larval feeding ability as well as plants used in the field, and describe and compare the dynamics of host range evolution in these groups. We find that apparent independent colonisations are in many cases likely to be the result of non-independent processes such as multiple losses, recolonisation or parallel colonisations following some preadaptation. Host plants shifts and range expansions are likely important drivers of the exceptional diversity of herbivorousinsects. A better understanding of the dynamics of host range evolution will improve our understanding of the source of this diversity.
Ecology Evolutionary Biology Zoology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-71318OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-71318DiVA: diva2:484597