DOI: 10.1101/453571Oct 25, 2018Paper

Physiological variation reflects bioclimatic differences in the Drosophila americana species complex.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jeremy Davis, Leonie Moyle


Background: Disentangling the selective factors shaping adaptive trait variation is an important but challenging task. Many studies--especially in Drosophila--have documented trait variation along latitudinal or altitudinal clines, but frequently lack resolution about specific environmental gradients that could be causal selective agents, and often do not investigate covariation between traits simultaneously. Here we examined variation in multiple macroecological factors across geographic space and their associations with variation in three physiological traits (desiccation resistance, UV resistance, and pigmentation) at both population and species scales, to address the role of abiotic environment in shaping trait variation. Results: Using environmental data from collection locations of three North American Drosophila species--D. americana americana, D. americana texana and D. novamexicana--we identified two primary axes of macroecological variation; these differentiated species habitats and were strongly loaded for precipitation and moisture variables. In nine focal populations (three per species) assayed for each trait, we detected significant species-level variation for both desiccation resistance and pigmentation, but not ...Continue Reading

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