Local adaptation of a Drosophila parasitoid: habitat-specific differences in thermal reaction norms

Abstract : Local climate is an important source of selection on thermal reaction norms that has been well investigated in cline studies, where populations sampled along altitudinal or latitudinal gradients are compared. Several biotic factors vary with climate, but are rarely integrated as alternative agents of selection to climatic factors. We tested the hypothesis that habitat may select for thermal reaction norms and magnitude of phenotypic plasticity in a drosophila parasitoid, independently of the climate of origin. We sampled populations of Leptopilina boulardi, a Drosophila parasitoid in two different habitats, orchards and forests. Orchards offer laying opportunities over small distances for parasitoids, with a low variability in the number of hosts per patch, while forests offer more dispersed and more variable patches. The sampling was realized in a temperate and a Mediterranean climate. We measured egg load, volume of eggs, longevity and lipid content for parasitoids reared at two temperatures. Reaction norms were opposite for populations from forests and orchards for investment in reproduction, independently of the climate of origin. The maximal investment of resources in reproduction occurred at the lower temperature in orchards and the higher temperature in forests. Host distribution differences between habitats may explain these opposite reaction norms. We also observed a flatter reaction norm for egg load in forests than in orchards. This relative canalization may have been selected in response to the higher variability in laying opportunities observed in forests. Our results demonstrate the potential role of resource distribution in evolution of thermal plasticity.
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Joffrey Moiroux, Emilie Delava, Frédéric Fleury, Joan van Baaren. Local adaptation of a Drosophila parasitoid: habitat-specific differences in thermal reaction norms. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Wiley, 2013, 26 (5), pp.1108-1116. ⟨10.1111/jeb.12122⟩. ⟨hal-02020998⟩

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