The plastic fly: the effect of sustained fluctuations in adult food supply on life-history traits.
Bottom Line: Remarkably, both the manner and extent to which life-history traits varied in relation to food depended on whether flies initially experienced high or low food after eclosion.We therefore conclude that the expression of life-history traits in adult life is affected not only by adult plasticity, but also by early adult life experiences.This is an important but often overlooked factor in studies of life-history evolution and may explain variation in life-history experiments.
Affiliation: Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands; Evolutionary Biology Group, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands; Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Campus for Aging and Vitality, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Finally, we pooled the survival data from the two experiments (Fig.7). We tested for food treatment effect (six levels) and experiment effect (three levels) where the levels were five individuals unweighed, five individuals weighed and one individual (Exp #2, all weighed). The interaction between these two factors was also examined. The interaction was significant ( = 19.495, P < 0.05), but only marginally so compared to the effect of treatment ( = 88.790, P < 0.001) and experiment ( = 44.100, P < 0.001, see also Fig.7). The interaction was due to the SYH treatment flies having a higher survival in the experiment with individual flies. The large effect of experiment was caused by a considerably lower survival of the individual flies compared to that of the SYH flies when kept in groups. The effect of treatment was mainly the effect of the CL treatment flies with a much lower survival and that of the SYL treatment flies with a marginally lower survival. In this analysis, the flies that died in the first week were excluded.
Affiliation: Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands; Evolutionary Biology Group, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands; Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Campus for Aging and Vitality, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.