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Asymmetric, but opposing reductions in immigrant viability and fecundity promote reproductive isolation among host-associated populations of an insect herbivore

Citation

Zhang, Linyi et al. (2020), Asymmetric, but opposing reductions in immigrant viability and fecundity promote reproductive isolation among host-associated populations of an insect herbivore, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.p8cz8w9pc

Abstract

Immigrant inviability can contribute to reproductive isolation (RI) during ecological speciation by reducing the survival of immigrants in non-native environments. However, studies that assess the fitness consequence of immigrants moving from native to non-native environments typically fail to explore the potential role of concomitant reductions in immigrant fecundity despite recent evidence suggesting its prominent role during local adaptation. Here, we evaluate the directionality and magnitude of both immigrant viability and fecundity to RI in a host specific gall-forming wasp, Belonocnema treatae. Using reciprocal transplant experiments replicated across sites, we measure immigrant viability and fecundity by comparing differences in the incidence of gall formation (viability) and predicted number of eggs per female (fecundity) between residents and immigrants in each of two host-plant environments. Reduced immigrant viability was found in one environment while reduced immigrant fecundity was found in the other. Such habitat-dependent barriers resulted in asymmetric RI between populations. By surveying recent literature on local adaptation, we find that asymmetry in immigrant viability and fecundity are widespread across disparate taxa, which highlights the need to combine estimates of both common and overlooked barriers in cases of potential bi-directional gene flow to create a more comprehensive view of the evolution of RI.