Browsing by Subject "life history"

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  • Czechowski, Wojciech; Trigos-Peral, Gema; Maak, Istvan; Vepsäläinen, Kari (2019)
    The first observation of alate gyne of Dolichoderus quadripunctatus (L.) visiting aphids is described. A gyne walked along a foraging trail to the aphid Panaphis juglandis Goeze colony where it imbibed honeydew excreted on the leaf by the aphids, after which it returned to the trail. This recurred during two more days, always a single alate gyne at a time; hence the total number of gynes, one or more, remained open. The phenomenon, hitherto practically unknown in ants, is presented against the background of the biology of the species and discussed in the context of specific environmental circumstances and the colony dynamics.
  • 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/).
  • Schultner, Eva; Blanchet, Elodie; Pagés, Christine; Lehmann, Gerlind U.C.; Lecoq, Michel (2012)
    Arcyptera brevipennis vicheti Harz 1975 (Orthoptera: Acrididae) is a rare grasshopper native to Mediterranean grassland habitats in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. Changes in land-use have modified these unique habitats, thus threatening the survival of A. b. vicheti populations. To improve the conservation of this species this study aimed to describe important aspects of its biology and ecology. Development of nymphs passed through five instars after hatching and was closely associated with the Mediterranean spring season. A prominent sexual size dimorphism is highlighted, but the larger females developed in the same number of instars as males. Hind femur length and number of antenna segments were useful characters when distinguishing between nymphal instars. All individuals were brachypterous, indicating that A. b. vicheti is unable to fly. Adult females laid 15 eggs on average and deposited no more than two egg pods in their lifetime. Grass debris made up 93% of faecal content of both sexes. Our results provide valuable information for the conservation of this highly endangered grasshopper species.
  • Luodeslampi, Juha; Kuusisto, Arniika; Kallioniemi, Arto (2019)
    This article examines the career paths of Finnish Religious Education (RE) teachers who were born in the 1930s, through a retrospective, self-autobiographical life history approach. The material reported here is a part of wider data of mainly written narratives (N = 62) from RE teachers who recount their career trajectories. In these career-focused life histories, the teachers outline their own professionalism as embedded in changing sociohistorical contexts, where to a great extent they tell about the active development of the school and the teaching of their particular subject to answer to the changing needs and challenges. Some teachers have, along with their teaching, also been actively involved in different communities or associations. Many of the Religious Education teachers here reflect on their career paths in relation to their profession as a teacher and often also with double qualifications as pastor trained theologians. At times, this constructs a possibility for tension between the roles of a teacher and that of a pastor, and in the perceptions of RE as a school subject and as something “preached” in the pulpit—some see their professionalism above all in relation to their religious life. This also includes a notable gender divide in the data, as at the time when these teachers gained their professional qualifications, it was only possible for men to be ordained in the Finnish Lutheran Church. Succeeding this, the male teachers in these data commonly have pastorhood as their first profession. For the purpose of this article, the career accounts of four teachers have been selected for further analysis, as they were perceived as telling examples of the wider material in terms of more or less typical career paths.
  • Warner, Emily; Marteinsdóttir, Bryndís; Helmutsdóttir, Vigdís F.; Ehrlen, Johan; Robinson, Sinikka; O'Gorman, Eoin (2021)
    Species and community-level responses to warming are well documented, with plants and invertebrates known to alter their range, phenology or composition as temperature increases. The effects of warming on biotic interactions are less clearly understood, but can have consequences that cascade through ecological networks. Here, we used a natural soil temperature gradient of 5–35°C in the Hengill geothermal valley, Iceland, to investigate the effects of temperature on plant community composition and plant–invertebrate interactions. We quantified the level of invertebrate herbivory on the plant community across the temperature gradient and the interactive effects of temperature, plant phenology (i.e. development stage) and vegetation community composition on the probability of herbivory for three ubiquitous plant species, Cardamine pratensis, Cerastium fontanum and Viola palustris. We found that the percentage cover of graminoids and forbs increased, while the amount of litter decreased, with increasing soil temperature. Invertebrate herbivory also increased with soil temperature at the plant community level, but this was underpinned by different effects of temperature on herbivory for individual plant species, mediated by the seasonal development of plants and the composition of the surrounding vegetation. This illustrates the importance of considering the development stage of organisms in climate change research given the variable effects of temperature on susceptibility to herbivory at different ontogenetic stages.
  • Velmala, William; Helle, Samuli; Ahola, Markus P.; Klaassen, Marcel; Lehikoinen, Esa; Rainio, Kalle; Sirkiä, Päivi; Laaksonen, Toni (2015)
    For migratory birds, the earlier arrival of males to breeding grounds is often expected to have fitness benefits. However, the selection differential on male arrival time has rarely been decomposed into the direct effect of male arrival and potential indirect effects through female traits. We measured the directional selection differential on male arrival time in the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) using data from 6years and annual number of fledglings as the fitness proxy. Using structural equation modeling, we were able to take into account the temporal structure of the breeding cycle and the hierarchy between the examined traits. We found directional selection differentials for earlier male arrival date and earlier female laying date, as well as strong selection differential for larger clutch size. These selection differentials were due to direct selection only as indirect selection for these traits was nonsignificant. When decomposing the direct selection for earlier male arrival into direct and indirect effects, we discovered that it was almost exclusively due to the direct effect of male arrival date on fitness and not due to its indirect effects via female traits. In other words, we showed for the first time that there is a direct effect of male arrival date on fitness while accounting for those effects that are mediated by effects of the social partner. Our study thus indicates that natural selection directly favored earlier male arrival in this flycatcher population.
  • 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.
  • Jauhola, Marjaana (Helsinki University Press, 2020)
    Pro et Contra
  • Newham, Elis; Corfe, Ian J.; Brown, Kate Robson; Gostling, Neil J.; Gill, Pamela G.; Schneider, Philipp (2020)
    Cementum is a mineralized dental tissue common to mammals that grows throughout life, following a seasonally appositional rhythm. Each year, one thick translucent increment and one thin opaque increment is deposited, offering a near-complete record of an animal's life history. Male and female mammals exhibit significant differences in oral health, due to the contrasting effects of female versus male sex hormones. Oestrogen and progesterone have a range of negative effects on oral health that extends to the periodontium and cementum growth interface. Here, we use synchrotron radiation-based X-ray tomography to image the cementum of a sample of rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) teeth from individuals of known life history. We found that increased breeding history in females corresponds with increased increment tortuosity and less organized cementum structure, when compared to male and juvenile cementum. We quantified structural differences by measuring the greyscale 'texture' of cementum and comparing results using principal components analysis. Adult females and males occupy discrete regions of texture space with no overlap. Females with known pregnancy records also have significantly different cementum when compared with non-breeding and juvenile females. We conclude that several aspects of cementum structure and texture may reflect differences in sexual life history in primates.
  • Boomsma, Jacobus J.; Brady, Sean G.; Dunn, Robert R.; Gadau, Juergen; Heinze, Juergen; Keller, Laurent; Moreau, Corrie S.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Schrader, Lukas; Schultz, Ted R.; Sundstrom, Lotta; Ward, Philip S.; Wcislo, William T.; Zhang, Guojie; GAGA Consortium (2017)
  • Mobley, Kenyon B.; Granroth-Wilding, Hanna; Ellmen, Mikko; Orell, Panu; Erkinaro, Jaakko; Primmer, Craig R. (2020)
    Abstract In species with complex life cycles, life history theory predicts that fitness is affected by conditions encountered in previous life history stages. Here, we use a four-year pedigree to investigate if time spent in two distinct life history stages has sex-specific reproductive fitness consequences in anadromous Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). We determined the amount of years spent in fresh water as juveniles (freshwater age, FW, measured in years), and years spent in the marine environment as adults (sea age, SW, measured in sea winters) on 264 sexually mature adults collected on a river spawning ground. We then estimated reproductive fitness as the number of offspring (reproductive success) and the number of mates (mating success) using genetic parentage analysis (>5000 offspring). Sea age is significantly and positively correlated with reproductive and mating success of both sexes whereby older and larger individuals gained the highest reproductive fitness benefits (females: 62.2% increase in offspring/SW and 34.8% increase in mate number/SW; males: 201.9% offspring/SW and 60.3% mates/SW). Younger freshwater age was significantly related to older sea age and thus increased reproductive fitness, but only among females (females: -33.9% offspring/FW and -32.4% mates/FW). This result implies that females can obtain higher reproductive fitness by transitioning to the marine environment earlier. In contrast, male mating and reproductive success was unaffected by freshwater age and more males returned at a younger age than females despite the reproductive fitness advantage of later sea age maturation. Our results show that the timing of transitions between juvenile and adult phases has a sex-specific consequence on female reproductive fitness, demonstrating a life-history trade-off between maturation and reproduction in wild Atlantic salmon.
  • Suhonen, Jukka; Ilvonen, Jaakko J.; Korkeamäki, Esa; Nokkala, Christina; Salmela, Jukka (Wiley, 2022)
    Ecology and Evolution
    Understanding the risk of local extinction of a species is vital in conservation biology, especially now when anthropogenic disturbances and global warming are severely changing natural habitats. Local extinction risk depends on species traits, such as its geographical range size, fresh body mass, dispersal ability, length of flying period, life history variation, and how specialized it is regarding its breeding habitat. We used a phylogenetic approach because closely related species are not independent observations in the statistical tests. Our field data contained the local extinction risk of 31 odonate (dragonflies and damselflies) species from Central Finland. Species relatedness (i.e., phylogenetic signal) did not affect local extinction risk, length of flying period, nor the geographical range size of a species. However, we found that closely related species were similar in hind wing length, length of larval period, and habitat of larvae. Both phylogenetically corrected (PGLS) and uncorrected (GLM) analysis indicated that the geographical range size of species was negatively related to local extinction risk. Contrary to expectations, habitat specialist species did not have higher local extinction rates than habitat generalist species nor was it affected by the relatedness of species. As predicted, species’ long larval period increased, and long wings decreased the local extinction risk when evolutionary relatedness was controlled. Our results suggest that a relatively narrow geographical range size is an accurate estimate for a local extinction risk of an odonate species, but the species with long life history and large habitat niche width of adults increased local extinction risk. Because the results were so similar between PGLS and GLM methods, it seems that using a phylogenetic approach does not improve predicting local extinctions.