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Life-history evolution in response to changes in metapopulation structure in an arthropod herbivore

Abstract : The persistence and dynamics of populations largely depend on the way they are configured and integrated into space and the ensuing eco-evolutionary dynamics. * We manipulated spatial and temporal variation in patch size in replicated experimental metapopulations of the herbivore mite Tetranychus urticae and followed evolutionary dynamics over approximately 30 generations. * A significant divergence in life-history traits, physiological endpoints and gene expression was recorded in the spatially and spatiotemporally variable metapopulation, but also a remarkable convergence relative to the stable reference metapopulation in traits related to size and fecundity and in its transcriptional regulation. * The observed evolutionary dynamics are tightly linked to demographic changes, more specifically frequent episodes of resource shortage that increased the reproductive performance of mites on tomato, a challenging host plant. This points towards a general, adaptive stress response in stable spatial variable and spatiotemporal variable metapopulations that pre-adapts a herbivore arthropod to novel environmental stressors
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 4:51:34 PM
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Annelies de Roissart, Nicky Wybouw, David Renault, Thomas van Leeuwen, Dries Bonte. Life-history evolution in response to changes in metapopulation structure in an arthropod herbivore. Functional Ecology, Wiley, 2016, 30 (8), pp.1408-1417. ⟨10.1111/1365-2435.12612⟩. ⟨hal-01255831⟩

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