Post-introduction evolution in the biological control agent Longitarsus jacobaeae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)
Article first published online: 3 MAY 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 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 8, pages 858–868, December 2012
How to Cite
Szűcs, M., Schaffner, U., Price, W. J. and Schwarzländer, M. (2012), Post-introduction evolution in the biological control agent Longitarsus jacobaeae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Evolutionary Applications, 5: 858–868. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2012.00264.x
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 3 MAY 2012
- Received: 13 March 2012 Accepted: 20 March 2012
- biological control agent;
- body size;
- climatic adaptation;
- contemporary evolution;
- larval development
Rapid evolution has rarely been assessed in biological control systems despite the similarity with biological invasions, which are widely used as model systems. We assessed post-introduction climatic adaptation in a population of Longitarsus jacobaeae, a biological control agent of Jacobaea vulgaris, which originated from a low-elevation site in Italy and was introduced in the USA to a high-elevation site (Mt. Hood, Oregon) in the early 1980s. Life-history characteristics of beetle populations from Mt. Hood, from two low-elevation sites in Oregon (Italian origin) and from a high-elevation site from Switzerland were compared in common gardens. The performance of low- and high-elevation populations at a low- and a high-elevation site was evaluated using reciprocal transplants. The results revealed significant changes in aestival diapause and shifts in phenology in the Mt. Hood population, compared with the low-elevation populations. We found increased performance of the Mt. Hood population in its home environment compared with the low-elevation populations that it originated from. The results indicate that the beetles at Mt. Hood have adapted to the cooler conditions by life-history changes that conform to predictions based on theory and the phenology of the cold-adapted Swiss beetles.