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Rethinking the thermal melanism hypothesis: rearing temperature and coloration in pygmy grasshoppers
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, School of Natural Sciences. (Evolutionary ecology)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9598-7618
2011 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology, ISSN 0269-7653, E-ISSN 1573-8477, Vol. 25, no 6, p. 1247-1257Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Selection for efficient conversion of solar radiation to body heat has favored theevolution of dark coloration in many ectotherms. The thermal melanism hypothesis positsthat dark coloration is beneficial under conditions of low ambient temperatures because itresults in faster heating rates and higher body temperatures. Fast heating rates, however,may come at a cost of overheating unless compensated for by thermal physiology orbehaviour. Pygmy grasshopper (Orthoptera, Tetrigidae) populations that inhabit fire-ravagedareas characterized by blackened backgrounds and hot surface temperatures due tohigh absorbance of solar radiation show an increased frequency of black phenotypes. Iraised the progeny of wild-captured Tetrix undulata in cold and hot temperatures and useddata on color patterns and survival in a greenhouse to examine whether a cold thermalenvironment triggered the development of melanic coloration or differently affected survivalof melanic versus non-melanic individuals. My results indicate that melanism was notinfluenced by rearing temperature but by genes or epigenetic maternal effects. Temperaturealso did not affect survival. However, melanic individuals produced by melanic motherssurvived longer than melanic individuals produced by non- melanic mothers, whereas nonmelanicindividuals produced by non-black mothers survived longer than melanic individualsproduced by non-black mothers. This suggests a mismatch between color andphysiology in offspring belonging to a different color morph than their mother. Futureinvestigations into the evolution of melanism should consider conflicting selection pressureson thermal capacity and camouflage as well as the influence of correlated responsesto selection on traits associated with coloration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 25, no 6, p. 1247-1257
National Category
Ecology Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Natural Science; Natural Science, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-15884DOI: 10.1007/s10682-011-9477-7Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-80054017229OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-15884DiVA, id: diva2:459681
Available from: 2011-11-28 Created: 2011-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full textScopushttp://www.springerlink.com/content/d76h367v8409n668/

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Forsman, Anders

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