May 29, 2014

Narrow oviposition preference of an insect herbivore risks survival under conditions of severe drought

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Bülent Arman AksoyChris Sander

Abstract

Understanding species' habitat preferences are crucial to predict organisms' responses to the current climate crisis. In many insects, maternal habitat selection for oviposition essentially determines offspring performance. Whether changes in climatic conditions may pose future mismatches in oviposition preference and offspring performance when mothers continue to prefer microhabitats that now threaten offspring survival is an open question. To address this, we tested if oviposition preferences put offspring at risk in the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) under drought stress. Mainly, we focus on identifying the microhabitat determinants for oviposition and the variation of conditions experienced by the sessile offspring, using field observations from 12 populations collected over 2015-2018. These data are combined with ten years of larval nest and precipitation data to understand within-population patterns of habitat selection. We tested whether the preferred microhabitats maximized the extended larval performance (i.e. overwinter survival). We found that females preferentially oviposited in microhabitats with higher host plant abundance and higher proportion of host plants with signs of drought stress. In most...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Imbalance
Genome
Ribonuclease III
Pancreatic ribonuclease
Downstream
DICER1
DICER1 gene
Analysis
Malignant Neoplasms
CTU1

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