Evol Ecol Res 9: 1211-1222 (2007)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Testing the interplay between physiological and life-history traits: an experimental study in Drosophila

Guillermo Folguera,1* José Luis Muñoz,2 Santiago Ceballos1, Francisco Bozinovic2 and Esteban Hasson1

1Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1428EHA Buenos Aires, Argentina and 2Centre for Advanced Studies in Ecology & Biodiversity and Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 6513677, Chile

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: guillermofolguera@gmail.com


Question: Developmental time and metabolic rate are correlated at higher levels of organization. Does this allometric relationship scale down to the intraspecific level?

Methods: We exposed flies of three species of Drosophila collected at contrasting altitudes and similar latitudes to varying experimental thermal regimes. Metabolic rate was measured as CO2 production using a ‘closed system’. Developmental time was estimated as the time elapsed from the first instar larval stage until adult emergence.

Results: We observed a positive correlation between metabolic rate and developmental time among species. However, such allometry was not detected within species. Interestingly, both variables presented different patterns of interactions with sex and thermal treatment.

Conclusions: It may not be possible to extrapolate allometric rules of macroecology to within-species variation. Indeed, the factors that affect variation in physiological variables at the intraspecific and interspecific levels should be different.

Keywords: developmental time, Drosophila, metabolic rate, thermal adaptation.

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