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  • 1.
    Kodandaramaiah, Ullasa
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Weingartner, Elisabet
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Janz, Niklas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Leski, Michael
    Slove, Jessica
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Warren, Andrew
    McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida.
    Validity of the subspecies paradigm - a case study of the nymphalid butterfly Polygonia faunusIn: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Subspecies are commonly used taxonomic units to formally describe intraspecific geographic variation in morphological traits. However, the concept of subspecies is not clearly defined, and there is little agreement about what they represent in terms of evolutionary units, and whether they can be used as reliably useful units in conservation, evolutionary theory and taxonomy. Although the validity of subspecies has been tested using a multi-marker genetic approach in vertebrates, such studies have been rare in invertebrates. We here test the validity of well-characterized subspecies in the butterfly Polygonia faunus using a combination of mitochondrial sequences and eight microsatellites. We have also investigated the phylogeographic Structure of P. faunus and test whether similarities in host-plant use among populations is related to genetic similarity. Neither the nuclear nor the mitochondrial dataset corroborated subspecies groupings. We found three welldefined genetic clusters corresponding to California, Arizona and (New Mexico + Colorado). There was little structuring among the remaining populations, probably due to gene flow across populations. We found no support for the hypothesis that similarities in host use are related to genetic proximity. The results indicate that the species underwent a recent rapid expansion, probably from two glacial refugia in western North America. The mitochondrial haplotype network indicates at least two independent expansion phases into eastern North America. Ourresults clearly demonstrate that subspecies in P. faunus do not conform to the structuring of genetic variation. More studies on insects and other invertebrates are needed to understand how widespread this phenomenon is. Results in this study will be crucial in designing further experiments to understand the evolution of host plant utilization in this species.

  • 2.
    Kodandaramaiah, Ullasa
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Weingartner, Elisabet
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
    Janz, Niklas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Leski, Michael
    Slove, Jessica
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Warren, Andrew
    Nylin, Sören
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Investigating concordance among genetic data, subspecies circumscriptions and hostplant use in the nymphalid butterfly polygonia faunus2012In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 7, no 7, p. e41058-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Subspecies are commonly used taxonomic units to formally describe intraspecific geographic variation in morphological traits. However, the concept of subspecies is not clearly defined, and there is little agreement about what they represent in terms of evolutionary units, and whether they can be used as reliably useful units in conservation, evolutionary theory and taxonomy. We here investigate whether the morphologically well-characterized subspecies in the North American butterfly Polygonia faunus are supported by genetic data from mitochondrial sequences and eight microsatellite loci. We also investigate the phylogeographic structure of P. faunus and test whether similarities in host-plant use among populations are related to genetic similarity. Neither the nuclear nor the mitochondrial data corroborated subspecies groupings. We found three well defined genetic clusters corresponding to California, Arizona and (New Mexico+Colorado). There was little structuring among the remaining populations, probably due to gene flow across populations. We found no support for the hypothesis that similarities in host use are related to genetic proximity. The results indicate that the species underwent a recent rapid expansion, probably from two glacial refugia in western North America. The mitochondrial haplotype network indicates at least two independent expansion phases into eastern North America. Our results clearly demonstrate that subspecies in P. faunus do not conform to the structuring of genetic variation. More studies on insects and other invertebrates are needed to better understand the scope of this phenomenon. The results of this study will be crucial in designing further experiments to understand the evolution of hostplant utilization in this species.

  • 3.
    Nylin, Sören
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Slove, Jessica
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Janz, Niklas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    HOST PLANT UTILIZATION, HOST RANGE OSCILLATIONS AND DIVERSIFICATION IN NYMPHALID BUTTERFLIES: A PHYLOGENETIC INVESTIGATION2014In: Evolution, ISSN 0014-3820, E-ISSN 1558-5646, Vol. 68, no 1, p. 105-124Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has been suggested that phenotypic plasticity is a major factor in the diversification of life, and that variation in host range in phytophagous insects is a good model for investigating this claim. We explore the use of angiosperm plants as hosts for nymphalid butterflies, and in particular the evidence for past oscillations in host range and how they are linked to host shifts and to diversification. At the level of orders of plants, a relatively simple pattern of host use and host shifts emerges, despite the 100 million years of history of the family Nymphalidae. We review the evidence that these host shifts and the accompanying diversifications were associated with transient polyphagous stages, as suggested by the oscillation hypothesis. In addition, we investigate all currently polyphagous nymphalid species and demonstrate that the state of polyphagy is rare, has a weak phylogenetic signal, and a very apical distribution in the phylogeny; we argue that these are signs of its transient nature. We contrast our results with data from the bark beetles Dendroctonus, in which a more specialized host use is instead the apical state. We conclude that plasticity in host use is likely to have contributed to diversification in nymphalid butterflies.

  • 4.
    Slove Davidson, Jessica
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    The plasticity and geography of host use and the diversification of butterflies2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Our world is changing rapidly and factors like urbanisation, changed agricultural practices and climate change are causing losses in butterfly diversity. It is therefore of importance to understand the source of their diversity. Given the remarkable diversity of herbivorous insects compared to their non-herbivorous sister groups, changes in host use have been implicated as a promoter of speciation. This thesis looks at geographical aspects of host range evolution and the plasticity of host use. We show that butterflies in the subfamily Nymphalinae that feed on a wide range of host plants have larger geographic ranges than species with narrower host ranges. Although tropical butterflies appear to be more specialised than temperate species, this effect is lost when controlling for the differences in geographic range. Geographic variation in host plant use within Polygonia faunus, related to morphologically distinct subspecies, did not show any genetic differentiation. This suggests that the observed variation in host plant use is a plastic response to environmental differences. Reconstructing host use for the Polygonia-Nymphalis and Vanessa group shows that plasticity is also important for understanding host use at the level of butterfly genera. Using unequal transition costs and including larval feeding ability revealed that frequent colonisations of the same plant genus can often be explained by non-independent processes, such as multiple partial losses of host use, recolonisation of ancestral hosts, and parallel colonisations following a preadaptation for host use. These processes are further reflected in the conservative use of host plant orders within the butterfly family Nymphalidae. Few taxa feed on more than one host plant order, and these expansions occur at the very tips of the tree, which we argue is evidence of the transient nature of generalist host use. These insights improve our understanding of how host range evolution may promote diversification.

  • 5.
    Slove, Jessica
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
    Geographical aspects of host range evolution in the buttefly subfamily NymphalinaeLicentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Slove, Jessica
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.
    Janz, Niklas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.
    Phylogenetic analysis of the latitude-niche breadth hypothesis in the butterfly subfamily Nymphalinae2010In: Ecological Entomology, ISSN 0307-6946, E-ISSN 1365-2311, Vol. 35, no 6, p. 768-774Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One possible explanation for the latitudinal gradient in species richness often demonstrated is a related gradient in niche breadth, which may allow for denser species packing in the more stable environments at low latitudes.

    The evidence for such a gradient is, however, ambiguous, and the results have varied as much as the methods. Several studies have considered the non-independence of species, but few have performed explicit phylogenetic analyses.

    In the present study, we tested for a correlation between diet breadth and latitude of distribution in Nymphalinae butterflies using generalised estimating equations (GEE) and accounting for phylogenetic independence.

    Using a simple model with only latitude of distribution as a predictor variable revealed a significant positive relationship with diet breadth. Previous studies, however, have shown that diet breadth is also correlated with butterfly range size, and in turn, that range size may be correlated with latitude of distribution. Including geographical range size in the model also turned out to have a profound effect on the results – to the extent that the relationship between latitude of distribution and diet breadth was effectively reversed.

    We conclude that, at least for this group of butterflies, there is no evidence for a positive correlation between latitude of species distribution and diet breadth when controlling for range size, and that the effect may actually even be reversed.

  • 7.
    Slove, Jessica
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.
    Janz, Niklas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Animal Ecology.
    The Relationship between Diet Breadth and Geographic  Range Size in the Butterfly Subfamily Nymphalinae: A  Study of Global Scale2011In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 6, no 1, p. e16057-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ‘‘oscillation hypothesis’’ has been proposed as a general explanation for the exceptional diversification of herbivorous insect species. The hypothesis states that speciation rates are elevated through repeated correlated changes – oscillations – in degree of host plant specificity and geographic range. The aim of this study is to test one of the predictions from the oscillation hypothesis: a positive correlation between diet breadth (number of host plants used) and geographic range size, using the globally distributed butterfly subfamily Nymphalinae. Data on diet breadth and global geographic range were collected for 182 Nymphalinae butterflies species and the size of the geographic range was measured using a GIS. We tested both diet breadth and geographic range size for phylogenetic signal to see if species are independent of each other with respect to these characters. As this test gave inconclusive results, data was analysed both using cross-species comparisons and taking phylogeny into account using generalised estimating equations as applied in the APE package in R. Irrespective of which method was used, we found a significant positive correlation between diet breadth and geographic range size. These results are consistent for two different measures of diet breadth and removal of outliers. We conclude that the global range sizes of Nymphalinae butterflies are correlated to diet breadth. That is, butterflies that feed on a large number of host plants tend to have larger geographic ranges than do butterflies that feed on fewer plants. These results lend support for an important step in the oscillation hypothesis of plant-driven diversification, in that it can provide the necessary fuel for future population fragmentation and speciation.

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