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Variable coloration is associated with dampened population fluctuations in noctuid moths
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. (Ctr Ecol & Evolut Microbial Model Syst)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9598-7618
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6398-1617
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Germany.
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 282, no 1808, 20142922Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Theory and recent reviews state that greater genetic and phenotypic variation should be beneficial for population abundance and stability. Experimental evaluations of this prediction are rare, of short duration and conducted under controlled environmental settings. The question whether greater diversity in functionally important traits stabilizes populations under more complex ecological conditions in the wild has not been systematically evaluated. Moths are mainly nocturnal, with a large variation in colour patterns among species, and constitute an important food source for many types of organisms. Here, we report the results of a long-term (2003-2013) monitoring study of 115 100 noctuid moths from 246 species. Analysis of time-series data provide rare evidence that species with higher levels of inter-individual variation in colour pattern have higher average abundances and undergo smaller between-year fluctuations compared with species having less variable colour patterns. The signature of interspecific temporal synchronization of abundance fluctuations was weak, suggesting that the dynamics were driven by species-specific biotic interactions rather than by some common, density-independent factor(s). We condude that individual variation in colour patterns dampens population abundance fluctuations, and suggest that this may partly reflect that colour pattern polymorphism provides protection from visually oriented predators and parasitoids.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 282, no 1808, 20142922
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecology, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-43213DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2922ISI: 000357060800018Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84929308487OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-43213DiVA: diva2:811731
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2016-11-14Bibliographically approved

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Forsman, AndersBetzholtz, Per-Eric
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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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More languages
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