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      Northward range expansion requires synchronization of both overwintering behaviour and physiology with photoperiod in the invasive Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata).

      1 , , ,
      Oecologia
      Springer Nature

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          Abstract

          Photoperiodic phenological adaptations are prevalent in many organisms living in seasonal environments. As both photoperiod and growth season length change with latitude, species undergoing latitudinal range expansion often need to synchronize their life cycle with a changing photoperiod and growth season length. Since adaptive synchronization often involves a large number of time-consuming genetic changes, behavioural plasticity might be a faster way to adjust to novel conditions. We compared behavioural and physiological traits in overwintering (diapause) preparation in three latitudinally different European Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) populations reared under two photoperiods. Our aim was to study whether behavioural plasticity could play a role in rapid range expansion into seasonal environments. Our results show that while burrowing into the soil occurred in the southernmost studied population also under a non-diapause-inducing long photoperiod, the storage lipid content of these beetles was very low compared to the northern populations. However, similar behavioural plasticity was not found in the northern populations. Furthermore, the strongest suppression of energy metabolism was seen in pre-diapause beetles from the northernmost population. These results could indicate accelerated diapause preparation and possibly energetic adjustments due to temporal constraints imposed by a shorter, northern, growth season. Our results indicate that behavioural plasticity in burrowing may have facilitated initial range expansion of L. decemlineata in Europe. However, long-term persistence at high latitudes has required synchronization of burrowing behaviour with physiological traits. The results underline that eco-physiological life-history traits of insects, such as diapause, should be included in studies on range expansion.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Oecologia
          Oecologia
          Springer Nature
          1432-1939
          0029-8549
          Sep 2014
          : 176
          : 1
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Biological and Environmental Science, Centre of Excellence in Biological Interactions Research, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, 40014, Jyväskylä, Finland, philipp.lehmann@jyu.fi.
          Article
          10.1007/s00442-014-3009-4
          25012598
          653dd309-116d-4099-8b4f-3a58eaf8b70f
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