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How does floral nectar quality affect life history strategies in parasitic wasps?

Abstract : In organisms, the energy allocated to different functions, such as between survival and reproduction, can vary according to biotic and/or abiotic constraints, resulting in trade-offs between associated life history traits. Life history strategies adopted by organisms depend notably on their position along the Capital-Income Breeder Continuum (CIBC). Resources invested into reproduction by pure capital breeders fully originate from capital reserves acquired during their development whereas they are only acquired through food intakes as adults in pure income breeders. However, the impact of food quality on the position of organisms along the CIBC has scarcely been considered. Nectar constitutes a major energetic resource for many holometabolous insects, favoring overall adult fitness. We tested the hypothesis that nectar quality may modify the position of individual insects along the CIBC by changing the origin of energy needed to complete egg maturation after female emergences. For that, we measured different life-history traits of the parasitoid Aphidius rhopalosiphi (Hymenoptera; Braconidae) fed with the floral nectar of three species (buckwheat, cornflower and mustard) known as presenting contrasted carbohydrate proportions, as well as water and sucrose as control solutions. We showed that buckwheat- and sucrose-fed females had both a greater longevity and a higher egg maturation rate. Sucrose- and cornflower nectar-fed females of three days-old produced bigger eggs, demonstrating that plasticity in egg traits in response to food quality is possible in koinobiont parasitoids. Our results highlight the importance of resource quality on the energy allocation strategy between key life history traits. The position of female parasitoids along the Capital-Income breeder continuum may vary according to their ability to handle different quality of sugar resources, which may decrease the reliance on capital reserves into reproductive functions. Consequently, we propose to include resource quality to the CIBC conceptual framework in future studies on life history strategies adopted by these organisms.
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02746240
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 9:44:59 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:22:48 AM

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Maxime Damien, Stéphanie Llopis, Nicolas Desneux, Joan van Baaren, Cécile Le Lann. How does floral nectar quality affect life history strategies in parasitic wasps?. Entomologia Generalis, 2020, 40 (2), pp.147-156. ⟨10.1127/entomologia/2020/0906⟩. ⟨hal-02746240⟩

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