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Latitudinal phenological adaptation: diapause induction and differentiation between alternative developmental pathways in a butterfly
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4560-6271
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

1. Seasonal phenotypic plasticity entails differential trait expression depending on the time of season. The facultative induction of winter diapause in temperate insects is a developmental switch mechanism often leading to differential expression in life history traits. However, when there is a latitudinal shift from a bivoltine to univoltine life cycle, selection for pathway-specific expression is disrupted, which may allow drift towards less optimal trait values within the non-selected pathway.

2. We use field- and experimental data from five Swedish populations of Pararge aegeria to investigate latitudinal variation in voltinism, local adaptation in the diapause switch, and footprints of selection on pathway-specific regulation of life history traits and sexual dimorphism in larval development.

3. Field data clearly illustrated how natural populations gradually shift from bivoltinism to univoltinism as latitude increases. This was supported experimentally as the decrease in direct development at higher latitudes was accompanied by increasing critical daylengths, suggesting local adaptation in the diapause switch.

4. The differential expression among developmental pathways in development time and growth rate was significantly less pronounced in univoltine populations. Univoltine populations showed no significant signs of protandry during larval development, suggesting that erosion of the direct development pathway under relaxed selection has led to the loss of its sex-specific modifications.

National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103192OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-103192DiVA: diva2:716205
Available from: 2014-05-08 Created: 2014-05-08 Last updated: 2014-10-28
In thesis
1. The diapause switch: Evolution of alternative developmental pathways in a butterfly
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The diapause switch: Evolution of alternative developmental pathways in a butterfly
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Diapause decision is a classic example of a threshold switch mechanism with cascading effects on morphology, behaviour and life-history traits. This thesis addresses the downstream effects of the insect diapause switch, with the main focus on pathway-specific regulation of life-history traits, using the speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria) as a study species. The ultimate pathway decision is made towards the end of larval development and allows the larvae to take into account up-to-date information from the environment about future conditions (Paper I, IV). However, already from an early point in development the larvae are sensitive to environmental cues and continuously adjust their growth trajectory in accordance to current information about the environmental conditions to be expected in future (Paper IV). An asymmetry in the ability to change from one developmental pathway to another at a late point in larval development suggests that the diapause and the direct pathway require different physiological preparations (Paper IV). Pathway-specific regulation of traits downstream of the diapause switch is maintained by ongoing selection. When the direct pathway is not regularly expressed, as with a shift from bivoltinism to univoltinism, relaxed selection on the unexpressed pathway leads to genetic drift and loss of protandry (Paper II, III). Natural populations display local adaptations in the diapause switch with an increase in critical daylengths as there is a gradual shift from bivoltinism to univoltinism (Paper III). This thesis highlights two aspects of the diapause decision, the determination of how and when this decision is made as well as the way the resulting pathways are moulded by selection in order to produce adaptive seasonal polyphenism in life-history traits.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2014. 18 p.
Keyword
Developmental plasticity, phenotypic plasticity, developmental switch, threshold trait, life-cycle regulation, direct development, Lepidoptera
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103200 (URN)978-91-7447-917-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-12, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-05-22 Created: 2014-05-08 Last updated: 2014-05-20Bibliographically approved

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