Data from: High temperature intensifies negative density dependence of fitness in red flour beetles
Halliday, William D.; Thomas, Alison S.; Blouin-Demers, Gabriel (2016), Data from: High temperature intensifies negative density dependence of fitness in red flour beetles, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7fn80
Competition for food, space, or other depletable resources has strong impacts on the fitness of organisms and can lead to a pattern known as negative density dependence, where fitness decreases as population density increases. Yet, many resources that have strong impacts on fitness are nondepletable (e.g., moisture or temperature). How do these nondepletable resources interact with depletable resources to modify negative density dependence? We tested the hypothesis that negative density dependence is modulated by temperature in red flour beetles and tested the prediction that the strength of negative density dependence should decrease as temperature decreases. We measured the number of eggs laid, offspring development time, and the number of offspring that reached maturity at three temperatures and two food treatment combinations as we simultaneously manipulated adult population density. We demonstrated that low temperatures weaken negative density dependence in the number of eggs laid; this pattern was most evident when food was abundant. Density had no effect on development time, but low temperatures increased development time. The percent of eggs that emerged as adults decreased with both density and temperature and increased with food. Temperature, an abiotic driver, can thus modulate density-dependent processes in ectotherms. Therefore, models of population growth for ectotherms should incorporate the effects of temperature.