Temperature can shape a cline in polyandry, but only genetic variation can sustain it over time
Taylor, Michelle Louise
Oxford University Press
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Oxford University Press via the DOI in this record.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Multiple mating by females (polyandry) is a widespread behavior occurring in diverse taxa, species, and populations. Polyandry can also vary widely within species, and individual populations, so that both monandrous and polyandrous females occur together. Genetic differences can explain some of this intraspecific variation in polyandry, but environmental factors are also likely to play a role. One environmental factor that influences many fundamental biological processes is temperature. Higher temperatures have been shown to directly increase re-mating in laboratory studies of insects. In the longer term, high temperature could also help to drive the evolution of larger-scale patterns of behavior by changing the context-dependent balance of costs and benefits of polyandry across environments. We examined the relative influence of rearing and mating temperature on female re-mating in populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura that show a latitudinal cline in polyandry in nature, using a range of ecologically relevant temperatures. We found that females of all genotypes re-mated more at cooler temperatures, which fits with the observation of higher average frequencies of polyandry at higher latitudes in this species. However, the impact of temperature was outweighed by the strong genetic control of re-mating in females in this species. It is likely that genetic factors provide the primary explanation for the latitudinal cline in polyandry in this species.
First published online: October 25, 2015