Dissecting the contributions of plasticity and local adaptation to the phenology of a butterfly and its host plants
2012 (English)In: American Naturalist, ISSN 0003-0147, E-ISSN 1537-5323, Vol. 180, no 5, 655-670 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Phenology affects the abiotic and biotic conditions that an organism encounters and, consequently, its fitness. For populations of high-latitude species, spring phenology often occurs earlier in warmer years and regions. Here we apply a novel approach, a comparison of slope of phenology on temperature over space versus over time, to identify the relative roles of plasticity and local adaptation in generating spatial phenological variation in three interacting species, a butterfly, Anthocharis cardamines, and its two host plants, Cardamine pratensis and Alliaria petiolata. All three species overlap in the time window over which mean temperatures best predict variation in phenology, and we find little evidence that a day length requirement causes the sensitive time window to be delayed as latitude increases. The focal species all show pronounced temperature-mediated phenological plasticity of similar magnitude. While we find no evidence for local adaptation in the flowering times of the plants, geographic variation in the phenology of the butterfly is consistent with countergradient local adaptation. The butterfly's phenology appears to be better predicted by temperature than it is by the flowering times of either host plant, and we find no evidence that coevolution has generated geographic variation in adaptive phenological plasticity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 180, no 5, 655-670 p.
plasticity, local adaptation, space-for-time substitution, phenology, plant-herbivore, coevolution
Research subject Ethology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-83024DOI: 10.1086/667893ISI: 000309976800012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-83024DiVA: diva2:574422