Data from: Reasons for success: rapid evolution for desiccation resistance and life-history changes in the polyphagous fly Anastrepha ludens
Tejeda, Marco Tulio et al. (2016), Data from: Reasons for success: rapid evolution for desiccation resistance and life-history changes in the polyphagous fly Anastrepha ludens, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.86309
Species that exhibit broad ranges of distribution may successfully navigate environmental changes by modifying some of their life history traits. Environmental humidity imposes a critical stress that organisms may overcome by increasing their resistance to desiccation. We used experimental evolution to investigate adaptation to desiccation in the tephritid Anastrepha ludens, a species with high fecundity, late maturation and long lifespan. We measured morphological, physiological, developmental as well as demographic changes involved in the adaptation to desiccation. Notwithstanding a low heritability (h2 = 0.237), desiccation resistance evolved extremely rapidly and few negative trade-offs were detected. Selected flies exhibited correlated increases in longevity, body size, the amount of body lipids and bulk water content, and in the duration of the pupal stage. Females further delayed sexual maturation, decreased daily fecundity but retained high lifetime reproductive potential. No differences in male mating competitiveness were found. Selected and control lines differed in longevity but not in total female fecundity, demonstrating that A. ludens flies have the capability for fast adaptation to desiccation without loosing their reproductive capability. Thus, it seems that a rapid evolutionary response to desiccation in this polyphagous insect works as a buffer for environmental variation and reduces the strength of selection on reproductive traits.