Canalization of body size matters for lifetime reproductive success of male predatory mites (Acari

Author(s)
Andreas Walzer, Peter Schausberger
Abstract

The adaptive canalization hypothesis predicts that highly fitness-relevant traits are canalized via past selection, resulting in low phenotypic plasticity and high robustness to environmental stress. Accordingly, we hypothesized that the level of phenotypic plasticity of male body size of the predatory mites Phytoseiulus persimilis (low plasticity) and Neoseiulus californicus (high plasticity) reflects the effects of body size variation on fitness, especially male lifetime reproductive success (LRS). We first generated small and standard-sized males of P. persimilis and N. californicus by rearing them to adulthood under limited and ample prey supply, respectively. Then, adult small and standard-sized males were provided with surplus virgin females throughout life to assess their mating and reproductive traits. Small male body size did not affect male longevity or the number of fertilized females but reduced male LRS of P. persimilis but not N. californicus. Proximately, the lower LRS of small than standard-sized P. persimilis males correlated with shorter mating durations, probably decreasing the amount of transferred sperm. Ultimately, we suggest that male body size is more strongly canalized in P. persimilis than N. californicus because deviation from standard body size has larger detrimental fitness effects in P. persimilis than N. californicus. (c) 2014 The Authors. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2014, 111, 889-899.

Organisation(s)
External organisation(s)
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
Journal
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society: a journal of evolution
Volume
111
Pages
889-899
No. of pages
11
ISSN
0024-4066
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1111/bij.12235
Publication date
04-2014
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106047 Animal ecology, 106054 Zoology, 106051 Behavioural biology
Keywords
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/canalization-of-body-size-matters-for-lifetime-reproductive-success-of-male-predatory-mites-acari(ece3afa7-fb4b-4054-9ebc-b085745b9a6a).html