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Data from: Effects of food variability on growth and reproduction of Aedes aegypti

Citation

Zeller, Michael; Koella, Jacob C. (2016), Data from: Effects of food variability on growth and reproduction of Aedes aegypti, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9jd01

Abstract

Despite a large body of knowledge about the evolution of life histories, we know little about how variable food availability during an individual's development affects its life history. We measured the effects of manipulating food levels during early and late larval development of the mosquito Aedes aegypti on its growth rate, life history and reproductive success. Switching from low to high food led to compensatory growth: individuals grew more rapidly during late larval development and emerged at a size close to that of mosquitoes consistently reared at high food. However, switching to high food had very little effect on longevity, and fecundity and reproductive success were considerably lower than in consistently well-fed mosquitoes. Changing from high to low food led to adults with similar size as in consistently badly nourished mosquitoes, but even lower fecundity and reproductive success. A rapid response of growth to changing resources can thus have unexpected effects in later life and in lifetime reproductive success. More generally, our study emphasizes the importance of varying developmental conditions for the evolutionary pressures underlying life-history evolution.

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