Host-associated divergence in sympatric host races of the leaf beetle Lochmaea capreae: implications for local adaptation and reproductive isolation

Soudi, Shaghayegh; Reinhold, Klaus; Engqvist, Leif Martin (2015). Host-associated divergence in sympatric host races of the leaf beetle Lochmaea capreae: implications for local adaptation and reproductive isolation. Biological journal of the Linnean Society, 116(1), pp. 169-182. Blackwell Publishing 10.1111/bij.12547

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Ecological specialization is widely recognized as a major determinant of the emergence and maintenance of biodiversity. We studied two critical facets of specialization – local adaptation and habitat choice – in the host races of the leaf beetle Lochmaea capreae on willow and birch. Our results revealed that there is asymmetric disruptive selection for host use traits, and host races achieved different adaptive sets of life history traits through association with their host plant. Beetles from each host race exhibited food and oviposition preference for their own host plant. Reciprocal transplant displayed significant variation in host acceptance and performance: all families from the willow race rejected the alternative host plant before initiation of feeding and all died on this host plant. By contrast, all families from the birch race accepted willow for feeding, but they consumed less and performed less well. Intriguingly, families that performed well on birch also performed well on willow, suggesting positive genetic correlation rather than genetic trade-offs. Our results suggest that the major proximal determinant of host specialization in the willow race is the behavioural acceptance of a plant rather than the toxicity of the food resource. However, in the birch race a combination of behavioural host acceptance and performance may play a role in specialization. Our study sheds light on the mechanisms by which divergent host adaptation might influence the evolution of reproductive isolation between herbivorous populations.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Behavioural Ecology

UniBE Contributor:

Engqvist, Leif Martin

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)

ISSN:

0024-4066

Publisher:

Blackwell Publishing

Language:

English

Submitter:

Karin Schneeberger

Date Deposited:

27 Sep 2016 11:55

Last Modified:

27 Sep 2016 11:55

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/bij.12547

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.88733

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/88733

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