Evol Ecol Res 18: 335-348 (2017)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Evolution of density-dependent wing polymorphism in insects

Takahiro Kamioka and Yoh Iwasa

Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

Correspondence: Y. Iwasa, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan. email: yohiwasa@kyudai.jp


Questions: What are the conditions that lead to the evolution of density-dependent dispersal in wing-polymorphic insects?

Key assumptions: An asexual species whose eggs, larvae, and adult stages live in many patches. Within each patch, larval growth rate depends on the amount of renewable resources that are consumed by the larvae. Dispersal-type adults migrate out of the natal patch just before the reproductive stage. In contrast, reproductive-type adults are highly fertile but do not have the ability to disperse far. Genotypes differ in the way the fraction of the dispersal type responds to density during the larval stages. The carrying capacity of the resources fluctuates between high and low values.

Results: Density-dependent dispersal evolved if environmental fluctuation was high. The dispersal type was produced if the density exceeded a certain threshold, with the rate increasing as density increased. In contrast, no dispersal type evolved if environmental fluctuation was low. Also, the tendency for density dependence to evolve is enhanced by slow growth and fast mortality of larvae, high dispersal mortality, a rapid resource recovery rate, and rapid environmental fluctuation.

Keywords: density-dependent dispersal, environmental fluctuation, growth of insects, resource dynamics, wing polymorphism.

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