Development on drought-stressed host plants affects life history, flight morphology and reproductive output relative to landscape structure
Article first published online: 6 OCT 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Volume 5, Issue 1, pages 66–75, January 2012
How to Cite
Gibbs, M., Van Dyck, H. and Breuker, C. J. (2012), Development on drought-stressed host plants affects life history, flight morphology and reproductive output relative to landscape structure. Evolutionary Applications, 5: 66–75. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2011.00209.x
- Issue published online: 15 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 6 OCT 2011
- Received: 9 August 2011 Accepted: 14 August 2011 First published online: 6 October 2011
- climate change;
- life history evolution;
- phenotypic plasticity
With global climate change, rainfall is becoming more variable. Predicting the responses of species to changing rainfall levels is difficult because, for example in herbivorous species, these effects may be mediated indirectly through changes in host plant quality. Furthermore, species responses may result from a simultaneous interaction between rainfall levels and other environmental variables such as anthropogenic land use or habitat quality. In this eco-evolutionary study, we examined how male and female Pararge aegeria (L.) from woodland and agricultural landscape populations were affected by the development on drought-stressed host plants. Compared with individuals from woodland landscapes, when reared on drought-stressed plants agricultural individuals had longer development times, reduced survival rates and lower adult body masses. Across both landscape types, growth on drought-stressed plants resulted in males and females with low forewing aspect ratios and in females with lower wing loading and reduced fecundity. Development on drought-stressed plants also had a landscape-specific effect on reproductive output; agricultural females laid eggs that had a significantly lower hatching success. Overall, our results highlight several potential mechanisms by which low water availability, via changes in host plant quality, may differentially influence P. aegeria populations relative to landscape structure.