Evol Ecol Res 13: 637-646 (2011)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Using Drosophila melanogaster to test the effect of multiple introductions on the ability of a non-native population to adapt to novel environments

Frank A. Bouchard, Suzanna L. Lewis, Chelsea B. Marcus, Gabriela M. McBride and Marta L. Wayne

University of Florida Genetics Institute and Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Correspondence: F.A. Bouchard, University of Florida, 420 Bartram Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.
e-mail: fab22@ufl.edu


Question: How do multiple introductions, versus a single introduction, of the same species, and the number of source populations of those introductions, affect the fitness of a population in a novel environment?

Hypothesis: Multiple introductions will increase fitness by introducing additional additive variance on which selection may act, by creating new combinations of alleles, or by reducing inbreeding depression. Multiple introductions from multiple source populations will further increase this effect.

Methods: Using Drosophila melanogaster in a controlled laboratory setting, genetically divergent lines were introduced to a novel environment of high ethanol content medium using either single or multiple introductions from a single source or multiple sources and then fitness was measured for 14 generations.

Conclusions: Multiple introductions, particularly from multiple sources, have higher fitness in the introduced environment than do single introductions or multiple introductions from a single source.

Keywords: adaptation, effective population size, inbreeding depression, invasive species, multiple introductions, recombination, transgressive segregation.

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