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Variation in two phases of post-winter development of a butterfly
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Evolutionary Biology, ISSN 1010-061X, E-ISSN 1420-9101, Vol. 27, no 12, 2644-2653 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The temporal aspects of life cycle characteristics, such as diapause development, are under strong selection in seasonal environments. Fine-tuning of the life cycle may be particularly important to match the phenology of potential mates and resources as well as for optimizing abiotic conditions at eclosion. Here, we experimentally study the spring phenology of the orange tip butterfly, Anthocharis cardamines, by analysing post-winter pupal development in three populations along a latitudinal cline in each of Sweden and the United Kingdom. These countries differ substantially in their seasonal temperature profile. By repeatedly recording pupal weights, we established that post-winter development has two separate phases, with a more rapid weight loss in the second phase than in the first, likely corresponding to a ramping up of the rate of development. Variation in the duration of the first phase contributed more strongly than the second phase to the differences in phenology between the localities and sexes. We found that insects from Sweden had a faster overall rate of development than those from the United Kingdom, which is consistent with countergradient variation, as Sweden is colder during the spring than the United Kingdom. Similar trends were not observed at the within-country scale, however. A cogradient pattern was found within Sweden, with populations from the north developing more slowly, and there was no clear latitudinal trend within the United Kingdom. In all localities, males developed faster than females. Our results point to the importance of variation in the progression of post-winter development for spring phenology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 27, no 12, 2644-2653 p.
Keyword [en]
Anthocharis cardamines, countergradient variation, local adaptation, orange tip butterfly, phenology, post-winter development, ramping up
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Ethology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112907DOI: 10.1111/jeb.12519ISI: 000346280100007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-112907DiVA: diva2:782732
Note

AuthorCount:4;

Available from: 2015-01-22 Created: 2015-01-19 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Spring Phenology of Butterflies: The role of seasonal variation in life-cycle regulation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spring Phenology of Butterflies: The role of seasonal variation in life-cycle regulation
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Animals and plants in temperate regions must adapt their life cycle to pronounced seasonal variation. The research effort that has gone into studying these cyclical life history events, or phenological traits, has increased greatly in recent decades. As phenological traits are often correlated to temperature, they are relevant to study in terms of understanding the effect of short term environmental variation as well as long term climate change. Because of this, changes in phenology are the most obvious and among the most commonly reported responses to climate change. Moreover, phenological traits are important for fitness as they determine the biotic and abiotic environment an individual encounters. Fine-tuning of phenology allows for synchronisation at a local scale to mates, food resources and appropriate weather conditions. On a between-population scale, variation in phenology may reflect regional variation in climate. Such differences can not only give insights to life cycle adaptation, but also to how populations may respond to environmental change through time. This applies both on an ecological scale through phenotypic plasticity as well as an evolutionary scale through genetic adaptation. In this thesis I have used statistical and experimental methods to investigate both the larger geographical patterns as well as mechanisms of fine-tuning of phenology of several butterfly species. The main focus, however, is on the orange tip butterfly, Anthocharis cardamines, in Sweden and the United Kingdom. I show a contrasting effect of spring temperature and winter condition on spring phenology for three out of the five studied butterfly species. For A. cardamines there are population differences in traits responding to these environmental factors between and within Sweden and the UK that suggest adaptation to local environmental conditions. All populations show a strong negative plastic relationship between spring temperature and spring phenology, while the opposite is true for winter cold duration. Spring phenology is shifted earlier with increasing cold duration. The environmental variables show correlations, for example, during a warm year a short winter delays phenology while a warm spring speeds phenology up. Correlations between the environmental variables also occur through space, as the locations that have long winters also have cold springs. The combined effects of these two environmental variables cause a complex geographical pattern of phenology across the UK and Sweden. When predicting phenology with future climate change or interpreting larger geographical patterns one must therefore have a good enough understanding of how the phenology is controlled and take the relevant environmental factors in to account. In terms of the effect of phenological change, it should be discussed with regards to change in life cycle timing among interacting species. For example, the phenology of the host plants is important for A. cardamines fitness, and it is also the main determining factor for oviposition. In summary, this thesis shows that the broad geographical pattern of phenology of the butterflies is formed by counteracting environmental variables, but that there also are significant population differences that enable fine-tuning of phenology according to the seasonal progression and variation at the local scale.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2016. 42 p.
Keyword
Phenology, Life cycle regulation, Phenotypic plasticity, Local adaptation, Butterflies, Diapause, Pupal development, Anthocharis cardamines, Herbivore – host plant interaction
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Research subject
Ethology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132278 (URN)978-91-7649-442-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-09-09, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

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

Available from: 2016-08-17 Created: 2016-08-04 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved

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