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Data from: Environmentally induced dispersal-related life history syndrome in the tropical butterfly, Bicyclus anynana

Citation

Saastamoinen, Marjo; Brakefield, Paul M.; Ovaskainen, Otso (2012), Data from: Environmentally induced dispersal-related life history syndrome in the tropical butterfly, Bicyclus anynana, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b68hr

Abstract

Dispersal is a key process for understanding the persistence of populations as well as the capacity of organisms to respond to environmental change. Therefore understanding factors that may facilitate or constrain the evolution of dispersal is of crucial interest. Assessments of phenotypic variation in various behavioural, physiological and morphological traits related to insect dispersal and flight performance are common, yet very little is known about the genetic associations among these traits. We have used experiments on the butterfly Bicyclus anynana to estimate genetic variation and co-variation in seven behavioural, physiological and morphological traits related to flight potential and hence dispersal. Our goal was to characterize the heritabilities and genetic correlations among these traits, and thus to understand more about the evolution of dispersal-related life-history syndromes in butterflies. Using a version of the animal-model, we showed that all of the traits varied between the sexes, and most were either positively or negatively (phenotypically and/or genetically) correlated with body size. Heritable variation was present in most traits, with the highest heritabilities estimated for body mass and thorax ratio. The variance of flight activity among multiple measurements for the same individual was high even after controlling for the prevailing environmental conditions, indicating the importance of behavioural switching and/or inherent randomness associated with movement. A number of dispersal-related traits showed phenotypic correlations among one another, but only a few of these were associated with significant genetic correlations indicating that co-variances between these traits in Bicyclus anynana are mainly environmentally induced.

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