Section: Zoology
Topic: Population biology, Ecology

Life-history traits, pace of life and dispersal among and within five species of Trichogramma wasps: a comparative analysis

10.24072/pcjournal.294 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 3 (2023), article no. e57.

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Major traits defining the life history of organisms are often not independent from each other, with most of their variation aligning along key axes such as the pace-of-life axis. We can define a pace-of-life axis structuring reproduction and development time as a continuum from less-fecund, longer-developing ″slow″ types to more-fecund, shorter-developing ″fast″ types. Such axes, along with their potential associations or syndromes with other traits such as dispersal, are however not universal; in particular, support for their presence may be taxon and taxonomic scale-dependent. Knowing about such life-history strategies may be especially important for understanding eco-evolutionary dynamics, as these trait syndromes may constrain trait variation or be correlated with other traits. To understand how life-history traits and effective dispersal covary, we measured these traits in controlled conditions for 28 lines from five species of Trichogramma, which are small endoparasitoid wasps frequently used as a biological model in experimental evolution but also in biocontrol against Lepidoptera pests. We found partial evidence of a pace-of-life axis at the interspecific level: species with higher fecundity also had faster development time. However, faster-developing species also were more likely to delay egg-laying, a trait that is usually interpreted as ″slow″. There was no support for similar covariation patterns at the within-species line level. There was limited variation in effective dispersal between species and lines, and accordingly, we did not detect any correlation between effective dispersal probability and life-history traits. We discuss how expanding our experimental design by accounting for the density-dependence of both the pace of life and dispersal might improve our understanding of those traits and how they interact with each other. Overall, our results highlight the importance of exploring covariation at the ″right″ taxonomic scale, or multiple taxonomic scales, to understand the (co)evolution of life-history traits. They also suggest that optimizing both reproductive and development traits to maximize the efficiency of biocontrol may be difficult in programs using only one species.

Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.294
Type: Research article
Keywords: dispersal syndrome, life-history strategies, fecundity, intraspecific competition, trait covariation
Guicharnaud, Chloé 1; Groussier, Géraldine 1; Beranger, Erwan 1; Lamy, Laurent 1; Vercken, Elodie 1; Dahirel, Maxime 2

1 Université Côte d’Azur, INRAE, CNRS, ISA, France
2 Ghent University, Department of Biology, Belgium
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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     title = {Life-history traits, pace of life and dispersal among and within five species of {\protect\emph{Trichogramma}} wasps: a comparative analysis},
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Guicharnaud, Chloé; Groussier, Géraldine; Beranger, Erwan; Lamy, Laurent; Vercken, Elodie; Dahirel, Maxime. Life-history traits, pace of life and dispersal among and within five species of Trichogramma wasps: a comparative analysis. Peer Community Journal, Volume 3 (2023), article  no. e57. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.294.

PCI peer reviews and recommendation, and links to data, scripts, code and supplementary information: 10.24072/pci.zool.100206

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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