Narrow oviposition preference of an insect herbivore risks survival under conditions of severe drought

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Salgado , A , DiLeo , M & Saastamoinen , M 2020 , ' Narrow oviposition preference of an insect herbivore risks survival under conditions of severe drought ' , Functional Ecology , vol. 34 , no. 7 , pp. 1358-1369 . https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.13587

Title: Narrow oviposition preference of an insect herbivore risks survival under conditions of severe drought
Author: Salgado, Ana; DiLeo, Michelle; Saastamoinen, Marjo
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Research Centre for Ecological Change
University of Helsinki, Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme
University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Life Science HiLIFE
Date: 2020-07
Language: eng
Number of pages: 12
Belongs to series: Functional Ecology
ISSN: 0269-8463
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/318652
Abstract: 1. Understanding species' habitat preferences are crucial to predict organisms' responses to the current climate crisis. In many insects, maternal habitat selection for oviposition essentially determines offspring performance. Whether future changes in climatic conditions may generate mismatches between oviposition preference and offspring performance, when mothers continue to prefer microhabitats that might threaten offspring survival, is an open question. 2. To address this gap, we tested if oviposition preferences of the Glanville fritillary butterfly Melitaea cinxia females put offspring at risk when plants are under drought stress conditions. Mainly, we focus on identifying the microhabitat determinants for oviposition and the variation of conditions experienced by the sessile offspring, using field observations from 12 populations collected over 2015–2018. These data are combined with 10 years of larval nest and precipitation data to understand within-population patterns of habitat selection. We tested whether the preferred microhabitats maximized the extended larval performance (i.e. overwinter survival). 3. We found that females preferentially oviposited in microhabitats with higher host plant abundance and higher proportion of host plants with signs of drought stress. In most years, larval nests had higher survival in these drought-stressed microhabitats. However, in an extremely dry year, only two nests survived over the summer. 4. Our results highlight that a failure to shift habitat preference under extreme climate conditions may have drastic consequences for the survival of natural populations under changing climatic conditions.
Subject: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
anthropogenic climate change
drought
life-history traits
mother knows best principle
precipitation
preference-performance hypothesis
HABITAT SELECTION
CLIMATE-CHANGE
LARVAL DEVELOPMENT
PERFORMANCE
TEMPERATURE
BEHAVIOR
MODELS
BEETLE
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