Browsing by Subject "HISTORY TRADE-OFFS"

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  • Mattila, Anniina L. K.; Jiggins, Chris D.; Saastamoinen, Marjo (2022)
    Aposematic animals advertise their toxicity or unpalatability with bright warning coloration. However, acquiring and maintaining chemical defenses can be energetically costly, and consequent associations with other important traits could shape chemical defense evolution. Here, we have tested whether chemical defenses are involved in energetic trade-offs with other traits, or whether the levels of chemical defenses are condition dependent, by studying associations between biosynthesized cyanogenic toxicity and a suite of key life-history and fitness traits in a Heliconius butterfly under a controlled laboratory setting. Heliconius butterflies are well known for the diversity of their warning color patterns and widespread mimicry and can both sequester the cyanogenic glucosides of their Passiflora host plants and biosynthesize these toxins de novo. We find energetically costly life-history traits to be either unassociated or to show a general positive association with biosynthesized cyanogenic toxicity. More toxic individuals developed faster and had higher mass as adults and a tendency for increased lifespan and fecundity. These results thus indicate that toxicity level of adult butterflies may be dependent on individual condition, influenced by genetic background or earlier conditions, with maternal effects as one strong candidate mechanism. Additionally, toxicity was higher in older individuals, consistent with previous studies indicating accumulation of toxins with age. As toxicity level at death was independent of lifespan, cyanogenic glucoside compounds may have been recycled to release resources relevant for longevity in these long-living butterflies. Understanding the origins and maintenance of variation in defenses is necessary in building a more complete picture of factors shaping the evolution of aposematic and mimetic systems.
  • Briolat, Emmanuelle S; Burdfield-Steel, Emily R; Paul, Sarah C; Rönkä, Katja Helena; Seymore, Brett M; Stankowich, Theodore; Stuckert, Adam M M (2019)
    Aposematic theory has historically predicted that predators should select for warning signals to converge on a single form, as a result of frequency-dependent learning. However, widespread variation in warning signals is observed across closely related species, populations and, most problematically for evolutionary biologists, among individuals in the same population. Recent research has yielded an increased awareness of this diversity, challenging the paradigm of signal monomorphy in aposematic animals. Here we provide a comprehensive synthesis of these disparate lines of investigation, identifying within them three broad classes of explanation for variation in aposematic warning signals: genetic mechanisms, differences among predators and predator behaviour, and alternative selection pressures upon the signal. The mechanisms producing warning coloration are also important. Detailed studies of the genetic basis of warning signals in some species, most notably Heliconius butterflies, are beginning to shed light on the genetic architecture facilitating or limiting key processes such as the evolution and maintenance of polymorphisms, hybridisation, and speciation. Work on predator behaviour is changing our perception of the predator community as a single homogenous selective agent, emphasising the dynamic nature of predator-prey interactions. Predator variability in a range of factors (e.g. perceptual abilities, tolerance to chemical defences, and individual motivation), suggests that the role of predators is more complicated than previously appreciated. With complex selection regimes at work, polytypisms and polymorphisms may even occur in Mullerian mimicry systems. Meanwhile, phenotypes are often multifunctional, and thus subject to additional biotic and abiotic selection pressures. Some of these selective pressures, primarily sexual selection and thermoregulation, have received considerable attention, while others, such as disease risk and parental effects, offer promising avenues to explore. As well as reviewing the existing evidence from both empirical studies and theoretical modelling, we highlight hypotheses that could benefit from further investigation in aposematic species. Finally by collating known instances of variation in warning signals, we provide a valuable resource for understanding the taxonomic spread of diversity in aposematic signalling and with which to direct future research. A greater appreciation of the extent of variation in aposematic species, and of the selective pressures and constraints which contribute to this once-paradoxical phenomenon, yields a new perspective for the field of aposematic signalling.
  • Glippa, Olivier; Engström-Öst, Jonna; Kanerva, Mirella; Rein, Anni; Vuori, Kristiina (2018)
    On a daily basis, planktonic organisms migrate vertically and thus experience widely varying conditions in their physico-chemical environment. In the Gulf of Finland, these changes are larger than values predicted by climate change scenarios predicted for the next century (up to 0.5 units in pH and 5 degrees C in temperature). In this work, we are interested in how temporal variations in physico-chemical characteristics of the water column on a daily and weekly scale influence oxidative stress level and antioxidant responses in the planktonic copepod of the genus Acartia. Responses were determined from samples collected during a two-week field survey in the western Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea. Our results showed that GST (Glutathione-S-transferase) enzyme activity increased in the surface waters between Weeks I and II, indicating antioxidant defense mechanism activation. This is most likely due to elevating temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen observed between these two weeks. During Week II also GSSG (oxidized glutathione) was detected, indicating that copepods responded to stressor(s) in the environment. Our results suggest that Acartia copepods seem fairly tolerant to weekly fluctuations in environmental conditions in coastal and estuarine areas, in terms of antioxidant defense and oxidative stress. This could be directly connected to a very efficient glutathione cycling system acting as antioxidant defense system for neutralizing ROS and avoiding elevated levels of LPX.
  • Halliday, Fletcher W.; Jalo, Mikko; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2021)
    Quantifying the relative impact of environmental conditions and host community structure on disease is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century, as both climate and biodiversity are changing at unprecedented rates. Both increasing temperature and shifting host communities toward more fast paced life history strategies are predicted to increase disease, yet their independent and interactive effects on disease in natural communities remain unknown. Here, we address this challenge by surveying foliar disease symptoms in 220, 0.5 m-diameter herbaceous plant communities along a 1100-m elevational gradient. We find that increasing temperature associated with lower elevation can increase disease by (1) relaxing constraints on parasite growth and reproduction, (2) determining which host species are present in a given location, and (3) strengthening the positive effect of host community pace-of-life on disease. These results provide the first field evidence, under natural conditions, that environmental gradients can alter how host community structure affects disease.