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Local adaptation of development time and starvation resistance in eight Drosophila species of the Philippines.

Kim van der Linde & Jan G. Sevenster (2006)

Biological Journal of the Linnean Society , 87: 115-125. Online Reprint:

The ecological trade-off between development time and starvation resistance, acting in a heterogeneous environment can promote the coexistence of competing species. Heterogeneity results from variation in the vegetation that influences both abiotic (e.g. temperature, humidity) and biotic aspects (e.g. fruit availability during the year) of the environment. In this study, we investigated whether differences between the habitats have led to local adaptation of the two life-history traits underlying the model: development time and starvation resistance. Drosophila 's were collected in four habitats, ranging from grassland to secondary forest, along a transect of 15 kilometres. The microclimatic and vegetation differences among these habitats were considerable. For development time, different species showed similar genetic responses to different habitats. The shortest development times were found in the secondary forest populations and the agricultural area populations, the longest in the grassland populations while the forest edge populations were intermediate. However, there was no correlation between the habitat ranking based on disturbance and canopy cover, and the ranking of the development times. Local selection did not seem to have a consistent effect on starvation resistance. Furthermore, the data did not confirm the generality of the positive correlation underlying the coexistence model.

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