Phenotypic divergence in reproductive traits of a moth population experiencing a phenological shift

Helena M. Santos, Maria-Rosa Paiva, Susana Rocha, Carole Kerdelhue, Manuela Branco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Allochrony that is reproductive isolation by time may further lead to divergence of reproductive adaptive traits in response to different environmental pressures over time. A unique summer population of the pine processionary moth Thaumetopoea pityocampa, reproductively isolated from the typical winter populations by allochronic differentiation, is here analyzed. This allochronically shifted population reproduces in the spring and develops in the summer, whereas winter populations reproduce in the late summer and have winter larval development. Both summer and winter populations coexist in the same pine stands, yet they face different climatic pressures as their active stages are present in different seasons. The occurrence of significant differences between the reproductive traits of the summer population and the typical winter populations (either sympatric or allopatric) is thus hypothesized. Female fecundity, egg size, egg covering, and egg parasitism were analyzed showing that the egg load was lower and that egg size was higher in the summer population than in all the studied winter populations. The scales that cover the egg batches of T.pityocampa differed significantly between populations in shape and color, resulting in a looser and darker covering in the summer population. The single specialist egg parasitoid species of this moth was almost missing in the summer population, and the overall parasitism rates were lower than in the winter population. Results suggest the occurrence of phenotypic differentiation between the summer population and the typical T.pityocampa winter populations for the life-history traits studied. This work provides an insight into how ecological divergence may follow the process of allochronic reproductive isolation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5098-5108
Number of pages11
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume3
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Egg parasitoids
  • egg size
  • fecundity
  • phenotypic divergence
  • scale covering
  • Thaumetopoea pityocampa
  • THAUMETOPOEA-PITYOCAMPA LEPIDOPTERA
  • INCIPIENT ALLOCHRONIC SPECIATION
  • PINE PROCESSIONARY MOTH
  • EGG PARASITOIDS
  • ECOLOGICAL SPECIATION
  • SYMPATRIC SPECIATION
  • SCHIFF. LEP.
  • CHARACTER DISPLACEMENT
  • EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY
  • PERIODICAL CICADAS

Cite this