Flight metabolic rate and Pgi genotype influence butterfly dispersal rate in the field

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Niitepold, K., Smith, A. D., Osborne, J. L., Reynolds, D. R., Carreck, N. L., Martin, A. P., Marden, J. H., Ovaskainen, O. and Hanski, I. 2009. Flight metabolic rate and Pgi genotype influence butterfly dispersal rate in the field. Ecology. 90 (8), pp. 2223-2232.

AuthorsNiitepold, K., Smith, A. D., Osborne, J. L., Reynolds, D. R., Carreck, N. L., Martin, A. P., Marden, J. H., Ovaskainen, O. and Hanski, I.
Abstract

Dispersal is a key life-history trait, especially in species inhabiting fragmented landscapes. The process of dispersal is affected by a suite of morphological, physiological, and behavioral traits, all of which have a more or less complex genetic basis and are affected by the prevailing environmental conditions. To be able to identify genetic and phenotypic effects on dispersal, movements have to be recorded over relevant spatial and temporal scales. We used harmonic radar to track free-flying Glanville fritillary butterflies (Melitaea cinxia) released in the field and reconstructed their flight tracks for several hours. Flight track lengths for individual butterflies ranged from tens of meters to several kilometers. Butterflies were most mobile at midday and in intermediate temperatures. Flight metabolic rate (MR), measured prior to the tracking, explained variation in mobility at all scales studied. One-third of the variation in the distance moved in one hour could be attributed to variation in flight MR. Heterozygous individuals at a single nucleotide polymorphism in the phosphoglucose isomerase (Pgi) gene moved longer distances in the morning and at lower ambient temperatures than homozygous individuals. A similar genotype x temperature interaction was found to affect the metabolic rate. Our results establish connections from molecular variation in a single gene to flight physiology and movement behavior at the landscape level. These results indicate a fitness advantage to the heterozygous genotype in low temperatures and suggest a mechanism by which varying environmental conditions maintain genetic polymorphism in populations.

KeywordsEcology
Year of Publication2009
JournalEcology
Journal citation90 (8), pp. 2223-2232
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1890/08-1498.1
PubMed ID19739384
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Academy of Finland
National Science Foundation - US
Funder project or codeSEF
Functional biodiversity: mechanisms by which plant and invertebrate communities function in the arable ecosystem
Project: 4967
PublisherWiley
Grant IDEF-0412651
213457
211173
ISSN0012-9658

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