Browsing by Subject "Melitaea cinxia"

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  • Woestmann, Luisa; Kvist, Jouni Antero; Saastamoinen, Marjo Anna Kaarina (2017)
    Flight represents a key trait in most insects, being energetically extremely demanding, yet often necessary for foraging and reproduction. Additionally, dispersal via flight is especially important for species living in fragmented landscapes. Even though, based on life-history theory, a negative relationship may be expected between flight and immunity, a number of previous studies have indicated flight to induce an increased immune response. In this study, we assessed whether induced immunity (i.e. immune gene expression) in response to 15-min forced flight treatment impacts individual survival of bacterial infection in the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia). We were able to confirm previous findings of flight-induced immune gene expression, but still observed substantially stronger effects on both gene expression levels and life span due to bacterial infection compared to flight treatment. Even though gene expression levels of some immunity-related genes were elevated due to flight, these individuals did not show increased survival of bacterial infection, indicating that flight-induced immune activation does not completely protect them from the negative effects of bacterial infection. Finally, an interaction between flight and immune treatment indicated a potential trade-off: flight treatment increased immune gene expression in naive individuals only, whereas in infected individuals no increase in immune gene expression was induced by flight. Our results suggest that the up-regulation of immune genes upon flight is based on a general stress response rather than reflecting an adaptive response to cope with potential infections during flight or in new habitats.
  • Duplouy, Anne; Wong, Swee C.; Corander, Jukka; Lehtonen, Rainer; Hanski, Ilkka (2017)
    Background: Adaptation to local habitat conditions may lead to the natural divergence of populations in life-history traits such as body size, time of reproduction, mate signaling or dispersal capacity. Given enough time and strong enough selection pressures, populations may experience local genetic differentiation. The genetic basis of many life-history traits, and their evolution according to different environmental conditions remain however poorly understood. Methods: We conducted an association study on the Glanville fritillary butterfly, using material from five populations along a latitudinal gradient within the Baltic Sea region, which show different degrees of habitat fragmentation. We investigated variation in 10 principal components, cofounding in total 21 life-history traits, according to two environmental types, and 33 genetic SNP markers from 15 candidate genes. Results: We found that nine SNPs from five genes showed strong trend for trait associations (p-values under 0.001 before correction). These associations, yet nonsignificant after multiple test corrections, with a total number of 1,086 tests, were consistent across the study populations. Additionally, these nine genes also showed an allele frequency difference between the populations from the northern fragmented versus the southern continuous landscape. Discussion: Our study provides further support for previously described trait associations within the Glanville fritillary butterfly species across different spatial scales. Although our results alone are inconclusive, they are concordant with previous studies that identified these associations to be related to climatic changes or habitat fragmentation within the angstrom land population.
  • 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.
  • Fountain, Toby; Husby, Arild; Nonaka, Etsuko; DiLeo, Michelle; Korhonen, Janne H.; Rastas, Pasi; Schulz, Torsti Michael; Saastamoinen, Marjo Anna Kaarina; Hanski, Ilkka Aulis (2018)
    Dispersal is important for determining both species ecological processes, such as population viability, and its evolutionary processes, like gene flow and local adaptation. Yet obtaining accurate estimates in the wild through direct observation can be challenging or even impossible, particularly over large spatial and temporal scales. Genotyping many individuals from wild populations can provide detailed inferences about dispersal. We therefore utilized genomewide marker data to estimate dispersal in the classic metapopulation of the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia L.), in the Aland Islands in SW Finland. This is an ideal system to test the effectiveness of this approach due to the wealth of information already available covering dispersal across small spatial and temporal scales, but lack of information at larger spatial and temporal scales. We sampled three larvae per larval family group from 3732 groups over a six-year period and genotyped for 272 SNPs across the genome. We used this empirical data set to reconstruct cases where full-sibs were detected in different local populations to infer female effective dispersal distance, that is, dispersal events directly contributing to gene flow. On average this was one kilometre, closely matching previous dispersal estimates made using direct observation. To evaluate our power to detect full-sib families, we performed forward simulations using an individual-based model constructed and parameterized for the Glanville fritillary metapopulation. Using these simulations, 100% of predicted full-sibs were correct and over 98% of all true full-sib pairs were detected. We therefore demonstrate that even in a highly dynamic system with a relatively small number of markers, we can accurately reconstruct full-sib families and for the first time make inferences on female effective dispersal. This highlights the utility of this approach in systems where it has previously been impossible to obtain accurate estimates of dispersal over both ecological and evolutionary scales.
  • Duplouy, Anne; Nair, Abhilash; Nyman, Toshka; van Nouhuys, Saskya (2021)
    Population bottlenecks associated with founder events strongly impact the establishment and genetic makeup of populations. In addition to their genotype, founding individuals also bring along parasites, as well as symbionts that can manipulate the phenotype of their host, affecting the host population establishment, dynamics and evolution. Thus, to understand introduction, invasion, and spread, we should identify the roles played by accompanying symbionts. In 1991, the parasitoid wasp, Hyposoter horticola, and its associated hyperparasitoid were accidentally introduced from the main angstrom land islands, Finland, to an isolated island in the archipelago, along with their host, the Glanville fritillary butterfly. Though the receiving island was unoccupied, the butterfly was present on some of the small islands in the vicinity. The three introduced species have persisted locally ever since. A strain of the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia has an intermediate prevalence in the parasitoid H. horticola across the main angstrom land population. The infection increases its susceptibility of to hyperparasitism. We investigated the establishment and spread of the parasitoid, along with patterns of prevalence of its symbiont using 323 specimens collected between 1992 and 2013, from five localities across angstrom land, including the source and introduced populations. Using 14 microsatellites and one mitochondrial marker, we suggest that the relatively diverse founding population and occasional migration between islands might have facilitated the persistence of all isolated populations, despite multiple local population crashes. We also show that where the hyperparasitoid is absent, and thus selection against infected wasp genotypes is relaxed, there is near-fixation of Wolbachia.
  • Rytteri, Susu; Kuussaari, Mikko; Saastamoinen, Marjo (2021)
    Climate change affects insects in several ways, including phenological shifts that may cause asynchrony between herbivore insects and their host plants. Insect larvae typically have limited movement capacity and are consequently dependent on the microhabitat conditions of their immediate surroundings. Based on intensive field monitoring over two springs and on larger-scale metapopulation-level survey over the same years, we used Bayesian spatial regression modelling to study the effects of weather and microclimatic field conditions on the development and survival of post-diapause larvae of the Glanville fritillary butterfly Melitaea cinxia on its northern range edge. Moreover, we assessed whether the observed variation in growth and survival in a spring characterized by exceptionally warm weather early in the season translated into population dynamic effects on the metapopulation scale. While similar weather conditions enhanced larval survival and growth rate in the spring, microclimatic conditions affected survival and growth contrastingly due to the phenological asynchrony between larvae and their host plants in microclimates that supported fastest growth. In the warmest microclimates, larvae reached temperatures over 20 degrees C above ambient leading to increased feeding, which was not supported by the more slowly growing host plants. At the metapopulation level, population growth rate was highest in local populations with heterogeneous microhabitats. We demonstrate how exceptionally warm weather early in the spring caused a phenological asynchrony between butterfly larvae and their host plants. Choice of warmest microhabitats for oviposition is adaptive under predominant conditions, but it may become maladaptive if early spring temperatures rise. Such conditions may lead to larvae breaking diapause earlier without equally advancing host plant growth. Microclimatic variability within and among populations is likely to have a crucial buffering effect against climate change in many insects.
  • Sarhan, Alia; Kokko, Hanna (2007)
    Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain multiple mating in females. One of them is bet hedging, that is avoiding having no or very few offspring in any given generation, rather than maximizing the expected number of offspring. However, within-generation bet hedging is generally believed to be an unimportant evolutionary force, except in very small populations. In this study, we derive predictions of the bet-hedging hypothesis for a case in which local insect populations are often small, offspring performance varies, for example, due to inbreeding depression, and the groups of gregarious larvae have to exceed a threshold size before they are likely to survive throughout the larval stage. These conditions exist for populations of the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia), potentially making bet-hedging benefits larger than usual. We observed matings in a field cage, which allowed detailed observations under practically natural conditions, and analyzed genetic paternity of egg clutches laid by females under direct observation. The egg-laying and survival patterns are in line with the predictions, supporting the hypothesis that multiple mating in M. cinxia presents a rare case of within-generation bet hedging.
  • Nonaka, Etsuko; Sirén, Jukka; Somervuo, Panu; Ruokolainen, Lasse; Ovaskainen, Otso; Hanski, Ilkka (2019)
    Abstract Inbreeding is common in nature, and many laboratory studies have documented that inbreeding depression can reduce the fitness of individuals. Demonstrating the consequences of inbreeding depression on the growth and persistence of populations is more challenging because populations are often regulated by density- or frequency-dependent selection and influenced by demographic and environmental stochasticity. A few empirical studies have shown that inbreeding depression can increase extinction risk of local populations. The importance of inbreeding depression at the metapopulation level has been conjectured based on population-level studies but has not been evaluated. We quantified the impact of inbreeding depression affecting the fitness of individuals on metapopulation persistence in heterogeneous habitat networks of different sizes and habitat configuration in a context of natural butterfly metapopulations. We developed a spatial individual-based simulation model of metapopulations with explicit genetics. We used Approximate Bayesian Computation to fit the model to extensive demographic, genetic, and life-history data available for the well-studied Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia) metapopulations in the Åland islands in SW Finland. We compared 18 semi-independent habitat networks differing in size and fragmentation. The results show that inbreeding is more frequent in small habitat networks, and consequently, inbreeding depression elevates extinction risks in small metapopulations. Metapopulation persistence and neutral genetic diversity maintained in the metapopulations increase with the total habitat amount in and mean patch size of habitat networks. Dispersal and mating behavior interact with landscape structure to determine how likely it is to encounter kin while looking for mates. Inbreeding depression can decrease the viability of small metapopulations even when they are strongly influenced by stochastic extinction-colonization dynamics and density-dependent selection. The findings from this study support that genetic factors, in addition to demographic factors, can contribute to extinctions of small local populations and also of metapopulations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • Rosa, Elena; van Nouhuys, Saskya; Saastamoinen, Marjo (2017)
    Aggregation can confer advantages in animal foraging, defense, and thermoregulation. There is a tight connection between the evolution of insect sociality and a highly effective immune system, presumably to inhibit rapid disease spread in a crowded environment. This connection is less evident for animals that spend only part of their life cycle in a social environment, such as noneusocial gregarious insects. Our aim was to elucidate the effects of group living by the gregarious larvae of the Glanville fritillary butterfly with respect to individual performance, immunity, and susceptibility to a parasitoid. We were also interested in the role of family relative to common postdiapause environment in shaping life-history traits. Larvae were reared at high or low density and then exposed to the pupal parasitoid wasp Pteromalus apum, either in presence or absence of a previous immune challenge that was used to measure the encapsulation immune response. Surviving adult butterflies were further tested for immunity. The wasp offspring from successfully parasitized butterfly pupae were counted and their brood sex ratios assessed. Larvae reared at high density grew larger and faster than those at low density. Despite high mortality due to parasitism, survival was greater among individuals with high pupal immunity in both density treatments. Moreover, butterfly pupae reared at high density were able to kill a larger fraction of individuals in the parasitoid broods, although this did not increase survival of the host. Finally, a larger proportion of variation observed in most of the traits was explained by butterfly family than by common postdiapause rearing environment, except for adult survival and immunity, for which this pattern was reversed. This gregarious butterfly clearly benefits from high conspecific density in terms of developmental performance and its ability to fight a parasitoid. These positive effects may be driven by cooperative interactions during feeding.