Browsing by Subject "LIFE-HISTORY"

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  • Kotrschal, Alexander; Lievens, Eva J. P.; Dahlbom, Josefin; Bundsen, Andreas; Semenova, Svetlana; Sundvik, Maria; Maklakov, Alexei A.; Winberg, Svante; Panula, Pertti; Kolm, Niclas (2014)
  • Holopainen, Sari; Christensen, Thomas Kjaer; Pöysä, Hannu; Väänänen, Veli-Matti; Rintala, Jukka; Fox, Anthony D. (2018)
    Ducks are important game species, hunted in several countries throughout their annual cycle. We investigated whether the size of the annual duck harvest in Finland and Denmark reflected annual reproductive output in three common quarry duck species. Finland represents an important breeding area and Denmark important staging/wintering grounds for common teal (Anas crecca), Eurasian wigeon (Mareca penelope) and common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). We assessed whether (i) annual duck harvest in these two countries correlated with variation in Finnish reproductive output or adult population size during 1990-2016 and (ii) variation in reproductive output of Finnish ducks was reflected in the juvenile ratios of birds harvested in Finland (2005-2007, 2014-2016) or Denmark (1990-2016). We hypothesised that variation in Finnish reproductive output would positively affect the size and juvenile ratio of the harvest, and that this effect would be stronger closer to the breeding grounds. Our data showed that the annual harvest of goldeneye in Finland was positively correlated with reproductive output, a desirable basis for applying sustainable management to this species. Teal and wigeon have much longer, more complex flyways, and their harvest did not mirror the annual production of young, although the wigeon harvest in Denmark increased with increasing juvenile ratio there. For these populations, we need to better define population units if we are to be able to assess harvest sustainability. We urgently need to monitor duck breeding success and harvest at larger spatial scales to support a comprehensive analysis of how well the harvest reflects reproductive output.
  • Rosa, Elena; Saastamoinen, Marjo (2020)
    Cold developmental conditions can greatly affect adult life history of ectotherms in seasonal habitats. Such effects are mostly negative, but sometimes adaptive. Here, we tested how cold conditions experienced during pupal development affect adult wing melanization of an insect ectotherm, the Glanville fritillary butterfly, Melitaea cinxia. We also assessed how in turn previous cold exposure and increased melanization can shape adult behaviour and fitness, by monitoring individuals in a seminatural set-up. We found that, despite pupal cold exposure inducing more melanization, wing melanization was not linked to adult thermoregulation preceding flight, under the conditions tested. Conversely, wing vibrating behaviour had a major role in producing heat preceding flight. Moreover, more melanized individuals were more mobile across the experimental set-up. This may be caused by a direct impact of melanization on flight ability or a more indirect impact of coloration on behaviours such as mate search strategies and/or eagerness to disperse to more suitable mating habitats. We also found that more melanized individuals of both sexes had reduced mating success and produced fewer offspring, which suggests a clear fitness cost of melanization. Whether the reduced mating success is dictated by impaired mate search behaviour, reduced physical condition leading to a lower dominance status or weakened visual signalling remains unknown. In conclusion, while there was no clear role of melanization in providing a thermal advantage under our seminatural conditions, we found a fitness cost of being more melanized, which potentially impacted adult space use behaviour. (c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
  • Halliday, Fletcher W.; Rohr, Jason R.; Laine, Anna-Liisa (2020)
    The dilution effect predicts increasing biodiversity to reduce the risk of infection, but the generality of this effect remains unresolved. Because biodiversity loss generates predictable changes in host community competence, we hypothesised that biodiversity loss might drive the dilution effect. We tested this hypothesis by reanalysing four previously published meta-analyses that came to contradictory conclusions regarding generality of the dilution effect. In the context of biodiversity loss, our analyses revealed a unifying pattern: dilution effects were inconsistently observed for natural biodiversity gradients, but were commonly observed for biodiversity gradients generated by disturbances causing losses of biodiversity. Incorporating biodiversity loss into tests of generality of the dilution effect further indicated that scale-dependency may strengthen the dilution effect only when biodiversity gradients are driven by biodiversity loss. Together, these results help to resolve one of the most contentious issues in disease ecology: the generality of the dilution effect.
  • Lynch, Robert; Lummaa, Virpi; Briga, Michael; Chapman, Simon; Loehr, John (2020)
    Understanding how conditions experienced during development affect reproductive timing is of considerable cross-disciplinary interest. Life-history theory predicts that organisms will accelerate reproduction when future survival is unsure. In humans, this can be triggered by early exposure to mortality. Previous studies, however, have been inconclusive due to several confounds that are also likely to affect reproduction. Here we take advantage of a natural experiment in which a population is temporarily divided by war to analyze how exposure to mortality affects reproduction. Using records of Finnish women in World War II, we find that young girls serving in a paramilitary organization wait less time to reproduce, have shorter inter-birth intervals, and have more children than their non-serving peers or sisters. These results support the hypothesis that exposure to elevated mortality rates during development can result in accelerated reproductive schedules and adds to our understanding of how participation in warfare affects women.
  • Celorio-Mancera, Maria de la Paz; Rastas, Pasi; Steward, Rachel A.; Nylin, Soren; Wheat, Christopher W. (2021)
    The comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album, Nymphalidae, Lepidoptera) is a model insect species, most notably in the study of phenotypic plasticity and plant-insect coevolutionary interactions. In order to facilitate the integration of genomic tools with a diverse body of ecological and evolutionary research, we assembled the genome of a Swedish comma using 10X sequencing, scaffolding with matepair data, genome polishing, and assignment to linkage groups using a high-density linkage map. The resulting genome is 373 Mb in size, with a scaffold N50 of 11.7 Mb and contig N50 of 11,2Mb. The genome contained 90.1% of single-copy Lepidopteran orthologs in a BUSCO analysis of 5,286 genes. A total of 21,004 gene-models were annotated on the genome using RNA-Seq data from larval and adult tissue in combination with proteins from the Arthropoda database, resulting in a high-quality annotation for which functional annotations were generated. We further documented the quality of the chromosomal assembly via synteny assessment with Melitaea cinxia. The resulting annotated, chromosome-level genome will provide an important resource for investigating coevolutionary dynamics and comparative analyses in Lepidoptera.
  • Aykanat, Tutku; Ozerov, Mikhail; Vähä, Juha-Pekka; Orell, Panu; Niemelä, Eero; Erkinaro, Jaakko; Primmer, Craig R. (2019)
    Co-inheritance in life-history traits may result in unpredictable evolutionary trajectories if not accounted for in life-history models. Iteroparity (the reproductive strategy of reproducing more than once) in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) is a fitness trait with substantial variation within and among populations. In the Teno River in northern Europe, iteroparous individuals constitute an important component of many populations and have experienced a sharp increase in abundance in the last 20 years, partly overlapping with a general decrease in age structure. The physiological basis of iteroparity bears similarities to that of age at first maturity, another life-history trait with substantial fitness effects in salmon. Sea age at maturity in Atlantic salmon is controlled by a major locus around the vgll3 gene, and we used this opportunity demonstrate that these two traits are co-inherited around this genome region. The odds ratio of survival until second reproduction was up to 2.4 (1.8-3.5 90% CI) times higher for fish with the early-maturing vgll3 genotype (EE) compared to fish with the late-maturing genotype (LL). The L allele was dominant in individuals remaining only one year at sea before maturation, but the dominance was reversed, with the E allele being dominant in individuals maturing after two or more years at sea. Post hoc analysis indicated that iteroparous fish with the EE genotype had accelerated growth prior to first reproduction compared to first-time spawners, across all age groups, whereas this effect was not detected in fish with the LL genotype. These results broaden the functional link around the vgll3 genome region and help us understand constraints in the evolution of life-history variation in salmon. Our results further highlight the need to account for genetic correlations between fitness traits when predicting demographic changes in changing environments.
  • Gerber, Nina; Kokko, Hanna; Ebert, Dieter; Booksmythe, Isobel (2018)
    The timing of sex in facultatively sexual organisms is critical to fitness, due to the differing demographic consequences of sexual versus asexual reproduction. In addition to the costs of sex itself, an association of sex with the production of dormant life stages also influences the optimal use of sex, especially in environments where resting eggs are essential to survive unfavourable conditions. Here we document population dynamics and the occurrence of sexual reproduction in natural populations of Daphnia magna across their growing season. The frequency of sexually reproducing females and males increased with population density and with decreasing asexual clutch sizes. The frequency of sexually reproducing females additionally increased as population growth rates decreased. Consistent with population dynamic models showing that the opportunity cost of sexual reproduction (foregoing contribution to current population growth) diminishes as populations approach carrying capacity, we found that investment in sexual reproduction was highest when asexual population growth was low or negative. Our results support the idea that the timing of sex is linked with periods when the relative cost of sex is reduced due to low potential asexual growth at high population densities. Thus, a combination of ecological and demographic factors affect the optimal timing of sexual reproduction, allowing D. magna to balance the necessity of sex against its costs.
  • Liao, Wenfei; Venn, Stephen; Niemelä, Jari (2020)
    Blue infrastructure is an important component of urban green infrastructure, due to its capacity for water cycle regulation and soil formation, as well as supporting unique biodiversity. Urban ponds, as part of urban blue, can harbour a diverse assemblage of aquatic macroinvertebrates. As yet, it is not clear how urbanisation affects macroinvertebrate diversity. In this study, we focus on diving beetles (Dytiscidae) in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Finland, to investigate how urbanisation affects their diversity, as well as the effects of margin steepness and the presence or absence of fish on urban dytiscids. We sampled dytiscids using 1-L activity traps in 14 fishless ponds and 11 ponds with fish, at ten sites. We applied generalised linear mixed models (GLMM) and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) to analyse the effects on dytiscid assemblages. We found that urbanisation had a negative effect on species richness but not on abundance. Steepness of pond margins and the presence or absence of predatory fish, affected both species richness and abundance: dytiscids prefer ponds with gently sloping margins; they have 80% higher species richness and are 79% more abundant in fishless ponds, and medium to large-sized dytiscid species are more capable of coexisting with fish. Urban wetlands can support a diversity of dytiscids at the regional level, and the presence of ponds without predatory fish is beneficial for maintaining dytiscid diversity. We recommend maintaining a diverse range of ponds and wetland habitats for the maintenance of aquatic biodiversity in urban regions.
  • Pöysä, Hannu; Rintala, Jukka; Johnson, Douglas H.; Kauppinen, Jukka; Lammi, Esa; Nudds, Thomas D.; Väänänen, Veli-Matti (2016)
    Density dependence, population regulation, and variability in population size are fundamental population processes, the manifestation and interrelationships of which are affected by environmental variability. However, there are surprisingly few empirical studies that distinguish the effect of environmental variability from the effects of population processes. We took advantage of a unique system, in which populations of the same duck species or close ecological counterparts live in highly variable (north American prairies) and in stable (north European lakes) environments, to distinguish the relative contributions of environmental variability (measured as between-year fluctuations in wetland numbers) and intraspecific interactions (density dependence) in driving population dynamics. We tested whether populations living in stable environments (in northern Europe) were more strongly governed by density dependence than populations living in variable environments (in North America). We also addressed whether relative population dynamical responses to environmental variability versus density corresponded to differences in life history strategies between dabbling (relatively "fast species" and governed by environmental variability) and diving (relatively "slow species" and governed by density) ducks. As expected, the variance component of population fluctuations caused by changes in breeding environments was greater in North America than in Europe. Contrary to expectations, however, populations in more stable environments were not less variable nor clearly more strongly density dependent than populations in highly variable environments. Also, contrary to expectations, populations of diving ducks were neither more stable nor stronger density dependent than populations of dabbling ducks, and the effect of environmental variability on population dynamics was greater in diving than in dabbling ducks. In general, irrespective of continent and species life history, environmental variability contributed more to variation in species abundances than did density. Our findings underscore the need for more studies on populations of the same species in different environments to verify the generality of current explanations about population dynamics and its association with species life history.
  • Weigang, Helene C.; Kisdi, Eva (2015)
    Resources invested in dispersal structures as well as time and energy spent during transfer may often decrease fecundity. Here we analyse an extended version of the Hamilton-May model of dispersal evolution, where we include a fecundity-dispersal trade-off and also mortality between competition and reproduction. With adaptive dynamics and critical function analysis we investigate the evolution of dispersal strategies and ask whether adaptive diversification is possible. We exclude evolutionary branching for concave trade-offs and show that for convex trade-offs diversification is promoted in a narrow parameter range. We provide theoretical evidence that dispersal strategies can monotonically decrease with increasing survival during dispersal. Moreover, we illustrate the existence of two alternative attracting dispersal strategies. The model exhibits fold bifurcation points where slight changes in survival can lead to evolutionary catastrophes. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Mikola, Juha; Koikkalainen, Katariina; Rasehorn, Mira; Silfver, Tarja; Paaso, Ulla; Rousi, Matti (2021)
    Fast-growing and slow-growing plant species are suggested to show integrated economics spectrums and the tradeoffs of fast growth are predicted to emerge as susceptibility to herbivory and resource competition. We tested if these predictions also hold for fast-growing and slow-growing genotypes within a silver birch, Betula pendula population. We exposed cloned saplings of 17 genotypes with slow, medium or fast height growth to reduced insect herbivory, using an insecticide, and to increasing resource competition, using naturally varying field plot grass cover. We measured shoot and root growth, ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungal production using ergosterol analysis and soil N transfer to leaves using N-15-labelled pulse of NH4+. We found that fast-growing genotypes grew on average 78% faster, produced 56% and 16% more leaf mass and ergosterol, and showed 78% higher leaf N uptake than slow-growing genotypes. The insecticide decreased leaf damage by 83% and increased shoot growth, leaf growth and leaf N uptake by 38%, 52% and 76%, without differences between the responses of fast-growing and slow-growing genotypes, whereas root mass decreased with increasing grass cover. Shoot and leaf growth of fast-growing genotypes decreased and EM fungal production of slow-growing genotypes increased with increasing grass cover. Our results suggest that fast growth is genotypically associated with higher allocation to EM fungi, better soil N capture and greater leaf production, and that the tradeoff of fast growth is sensitivity to competition, but not to insect herbivory. EM fungi may have a dual role: to support growth of fast-growing genotypes under low grass competition and to maintain growth of slow-growing genotypes under intensifying competition.
  • Nolte, Dorothea; Boutaud, Esteve; Kotze, D. Johan; Schuldt, Andreas; Assmann, Thorsten (2019)
    The worldwide biodiversity crisis is ongoing. To slow down, or even halt future species loss it is important to identify potential drivers of extinction risk. Species traits can help to understand the underlying process of extinction risk. In a comprehensive study on 464 carabid beetle species, we used ordinal logistic regression to analyze the relationship of species traits to extinction risk in Central Europe, taking phylogenetic relatedness into account. To consider varying trait responses in different habitat types, we also tested models for species groups associated with different habitat types (forest, open, riparian and wetland). Our results identified three traits of particular importance as predictors for high extinction risk: (1) high habitat specialization, (2) small distribution range size (which is not considered in the categorization of the German Red List), and (3) large body size. Furthermore, large macropterous species showed high extinction risk. Overall, species associated with mountainous, coastal and open habitats generally revealed a high risk of extinction, while most forest species showed a low extinction risk. However, forest species with predatory feeding behavior were threatened, as were wetland species that reproduce in autumn. Phylogenetic relatedness had no influence on how species traits predict carabid beetle extinction risk. In the light of these results, management and recovery plans for species which exhibit characteristic traits strongly associated with extinction risks, as well as the conservation and restoration of mountain, coastal and open habitats, have to be prioritized.
  • Kuparinen, Anna; Hutchings, Jeffrey A.; Waples, Robin S. (2016)
    Much has been written about fishery-induced evolution (FIE) in exploited species, but relatively little attention has been paid to the consequences for one of the most important parameters in evolutionary biology-effective population size (N-e). We use a combination of simulations of Atlantic cod populations experiencing harvest, artificial manipulation of cod life tables, and analytical methods to explore how adding harvest to natural mortality affects N-e, census size (N), and the ratio N-e/N. We show that harvest-mediated reductions in N-e are due entirely to reductions in recruitment, because increasing adult mortality actually increases the N-e/N ratio. This means that proportional reductions in abundance caused by harvest represent an upper limit to the proportional reductions in N-e, and that in some cases N-e can even increase with increased harvest. This result is a quite general consequence of increased adult mortality and does not depend on harvest selectivity or FIE, although both of these influence the results in a quantitative way. In scenarios that allowed evolution, N-e recovered quickly after harvest ended and remained higher than in the preharvest population for well over a century, which indicates that evolution can help provide a long-term buffer against loss of genetic variability.
  • Duplouy, Anne; Woestmann, Luisa; gallego-Zamorano, juan; Saastamoinen, Marjo Anna Kaarina (2018)
    In butterflies, male reproductive success is highly related to the quality and the size of the spermatophore transferred to the female. The spermatophore is a capsule produced by the male during copulation, which in many species contains sperm in addition to a nuptial gift, and which is digested by the female after copulation. The nuptial gift may contribute to egg production and offspring quality, and in some cases also to female body maintenance. The production of the spermatophore, however, represents a cost for the male and, in polyandrous species, ejaculates are sometimes allocated adaptively across matings. Nonetheless, although the ecological factors affecting the reproductive success of female butterflies have been the topic of numerous studies, little information exists on the factors affecting males’ contribution to reproduction, and the indirect impacts on female fecundity and fitness. We used the Glanville fritillary butterfly, Melitaea cinxia (Linnaeus, 1758) (Nymphalidae), in order to assess variation in male allocation to matings. In this species, smaller males produce smaller spermatophores, but variation in spermatophore size is not correlated with female reproductive success. We show that spermatophore size increases with male age at first mating, decreases with mating frequency and adult food-deprivation, and is not influenced by developmental food-limitation. The length of copulation period does not influence the spermatophore size nor influences the polyandrous mating behavior in this species. Male contribution to his spermatophore size is clearly influenced by his condition and adult-resource at the time of mating. Despite this variation, spermatophore size does not seem to have a direct impact on female reproductive output or mating behavior.
  • Alho, Jussi S.; Leinonen, Tuomas; Merila, Juha (2011)
  • Verspagen, Nadja; Ikonen, Suvi; Saastamoinen, Marjo; van Bergen, Erik (2020)
    Variation in environmental conditions during development can lead to changes in life-history traits with long-lasting effects. Here, we study how variation in temperature and host plant (i.e. the consequences of potential maternal oviposition choices) affects a suite of life-history traits in pre-diapause larvae of the Glanville fritillary butterfly. We focus on offspring survival, larval growth rates and relative fat reserves, and pay specific attention to intraspecific variation in the responses (G × E × E). Globally, thermal performance and survival curves varied between diets of two host plants, suggesting that host modifies the temperature impact, or vice versa. Additionally, we show that the relative fat content has a host-dependent, discontinuous response to developmental temperature. This implies that a potential switch in resource allocation, from more investment in growth at lower temperatures to storage at higher temperatures, is dependent on the larval diet. Interestingly, a large proportion of the variance in larval performance is explained by differences among families, or interactions with this variable. Finally, we demonstrate that these family-specific responses to the host plant remain largely consistent across thermal environments. Together, the results of our study underscore the importance of paying attention to intraspecific trait variation in the field of evolutionary ecology.
  • Paivinen, J; Grapputo, A; Kaitala, V; Komonen, A; Kotiaho, J S; Saarinen, K; Wahlberg, N (2005)
  • Noreikiene, K.; Öst, M.; Seltmann, M. W.; Boner, W.; Monaghan, P.; Jaatinen, K. (2017)
    Habitat-associated crypsis may affect perceived predation vulnerability, selecting for different predator avoidance strategies. Glucocorticoids could mediate the adjustment of escape responses to the extent of crypsis, introducing an overlooked source of variation in glucocorticoid-fitness relationships. However, prolonged exposure to elevated glucocorticoids may be costly, leading to accelerated telomere loss and, consequently, senescence. Here, we examined how nest cover and immunoreactive faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) levels are linked to hatching success and telomere length in breeding female Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima (L., 1758)). We hypothesized that the degree of nest crypsis, reflecting differences in perceived predation risk, would moderate the relationship between reproductive success and fGCM levels. We also expected that telomere length would be shorter in birds with higher glucocorticoid concentration. Results showed that individuals with high fGCM levels had higher hatching success in nests with low cover, while low fGCM levels were more successful in well-concealed nests. We found that shorter telomeres were associated with high fGCM in nesting sites offering little cover and with low fGCM in well-concealed ones. This study provides the first evidence of habitat-dependent moderation of the relationships between stress physiology, telomere length and hatching success.
  • Elmberg, Johan; Arzel, Celine; Gunnarsson, Gunnar; Holopainen, Sari; Nummi, Petri; Poysa, Hannu; Sjoberg, Kjell (2020)
    Understanding drivers of variation and trends in biodiversity change is a general scientific challenge, but also crucial for conservation and management. Previous research shows that patterns of increase and decrease are not always consistent at different spatial scales, calling for approaches combining the latter. We here explore the idea that functional traits of species may help explaining divergent population trends. Complementing a previous community level study, we here analyse data about breeding waterbirds on 58 wetlands in boreal Fennoscandia, covering gradients in latitude as well as trophic status. We used linear mixed models to address how change in local abundance over 25 years in 25 waterbird species are associated with life history traits, diet, distribution, breeding phenology, and habitat affinity. Mean abundance increased in 10 species from 1990/1991 to 2016, whereas it decreased in 15 species. Local population increases were associated with species that are early breeders and have small clutches, an affinity for luxurious wetlands, an herbivorous diet, and a wide breeding range rather than a southern distribution. Local decreases, by contrast, were associated with species having large clutches and invertivorous diet, as well as being late breeders and less confined to luxurious wetlands. The three species occurring on the highest number of wetlands all decreased in mean abundance. The fact that early breeders have done better than late fits well with previous research about adaptability to climate change, that is, response to earlier springs. We found only limited support for the idea that life history traits are good predictors of wetland level population change. Instead, diet turned out to be a strong candidate for an important driver of population change, as supported by a general decrease of invertivores and a concomitant increase of large herbivores. In a wider perspective, future research needs to address whether population growth of large-bodied aquatic herbivores affects abundance of co-occurring invertivorous species, and if so, if this is due to habitat alteration, or to interference or exploitative competition.