Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Behavioral adaptations imply a direct link between ecological specialization and reproductive isolation in a sympatrically diverging ground beetle

Citation

Van Belleghem, Steven M.; De Wolf, Katrien; Hendrickx, Frederik (2016), Data from: Behavioral adaptations imply a direct link between ecological specialization and reproductive isolation in a sympatrically diverging ground beetle, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.b997r

Abstract

Adaptation to a previously unoccupied niche within a single population is one of the most contentious topics in evolutionary biology as it assumes the simultaneous evolution of ecologically selected and preference traits. Here, we demonstrate behavioral adaptation to contrasting hydrological regimes in a sympatric mosaic of Pogonus chalceus beetle populations, and argue that this adaptation may result in nonrandom gene flow. When exposed to experimental inundations, individuals from tidal marshes, which are naturally subjected to frequent but short floods, showed a higher propensity to remain submerged compared to individuals from seasonal marshes that are inundated for several months. This adaptive behavior is expected to decrease the probability that individuals will settle in the alternative habitat, resulting in spatial sorting and reproductive isolation of both ecotypes. Additionally, we show that this difference in behavior is induced by the environmental conditions experienced by the beetles during their nondispersive larval stages. Hence, accidental or forced ovipositioning in the alternative habitat may induce both an increased performance and preference to the natal habitat type. Such plastic traits could play an important role in the most incipient stages of divergence with gene flow.

Usage Notes

Location

Belgium - Dudzele
Belgium - Nieuwpoort
France - Guérande