Evol Ecol Res 12: 973-986 (2010)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

The interplay between thermal tolerance and life history is associated with the biogeography of Drosophila species

Francisca Boher1, Raúl Godoy-Herrera2 and Francisco Bozinovic1

1Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology and Biodiversity (CASEB), LINC-Global and Departamento de Ecología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile and  2Programa de Genética Humana, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile

Correspondence: Francisco Bozinovic, Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 6513677, Chile.
e-mail: fbozinovic@bio.puc.cl


Background: Physiological tolerances are important determinants of the biogeography of species.

Questions: What is the relationship between thermal tolerance and the biogeographic origin of species? What are the relationships between thermal tolerance and life-history traits?

Organisms: Four Drosophila species, two from a tropical biogeographic area (D. melanogaster and D. simulans) and two from a temperate geographic zone in the Andes mountains (D. pavani and D. gaucha).

Methods: We assessed upper and lower lethal temperature. We used thermal limits to construct a thermal tolerance polygon that represents the total thermal range of each species after acclimation at different ambient temperatures. We also measured differences in life history (fertility and egg-to-adult viability) between species.

Conclusions: Both temperate species have broader thermal tolerance ranges than either tropical species. But temperate species have lower fitness at higher temperatures than tropical species, and both of them have low fitness at lower temperatures.

Keywords: acclimation, biogeography, Drosophila, life history, thermal tolerances polygons.

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