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The diapause decision as a cascade switch for adaptive developmental plasticity in body mass in a butterfly


Gotthard, K; Berger, David (2010). The diapause decision as a cascade switch for adaptive developmental plasticity in body mass in a butterfly. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23(6):1129-1137.

Abstract

Switch-induced developmental plasticity, such as the diapause decision in insects, is a major form of adaptation to variable environments. As individuals that follow alternative developmental pathways will experience different selective environments the diapause decision may evolve to a cascade switch that induces additional adaptive developmental differences downstream of the diapause decision. Here, we show that individuals following alternative developmental pathways in a Swedish population of the butterfly, Pararge aegeria, display differential optimization of adult body mass as a likely response to predictable differences in thermal conditions during reproduction. In a more northern population where this type of selection is absent no similar difference in adult mass among pathways was found. We conclude that the diapause decision in the southern population appears to act as a cascade switch, coordinating development downstream of the diapause decision, to produce adult phenotypes adapted to the typical thermal conditions of their expected reproductive period.

Switch-induced developmental plasticity, such as the diapause decision in insects, is a major form of adaptation to variable environments. As individuals that follow alternative developmental pathways will experience different selective environments the diapause decision may evolve to a cascade switch that induces additional adaptive developmental differences downstream of the diapause decision. Here, we show that individuals following alternative developmental pathways in a Swedish population of the butterfly, Pararge aegeria, display differential optimization of adult body mass as a likely response to predictable differences in thermal conditions during reproduction. In a more northern population where this type of selection is absent no similar difference in adult mass among pathways was found. We conclude that the diapause decision in the southern population appears to act as a cascade switch, coordinating development downstream of the diapause decision, to produce adult phenotypes adapted to the typical thermal conditions of their expected reproductive period.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Lepidoptera; life history theory; modularity; Pararge aegeria; phenotypic plasticity; threshold trait
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:08 Feb 2011 13:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:41
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1010-061X
Funders:Swedish Research Council
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.01994.x
PubMed ID:20456570
Other Identification Number:ISI:000277710100002
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-44221

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