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Biological invasion and biological control select for different life histories

Tayeh A., Hufbauer R.A., Estoup A., Ravigné V., Frachon L., Facon B.. 2015. Nature Communications, 6 (7268) : 5 p..

Biological invaders have long been hypothesized to exhibit the fast end of the life-history spectrum, with early reproduction and a short lifespan. Here, we examine the rapid evolution of life history within the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis. The species, once used as a biological control agent, is now a worldwide invader. We show that biocontrol populations have evolved a classic fast life history during their maintenance in laboratories. Invasive populations also reproduce earlier than native populations, but later than biocontrol ones. Invaders allocate more resources to reproduction than native and biocontrol individuals, and their reproduction is spread over a longer lifespan. This life history is best described as a bet-hedging strategy. We assert that invasiveness cannot be explained only by invoking faster life histories. Instead, the evolution of life history within invasive populations can progress rapidly and converge to a fine-tuned evolutionary match between the invaded environment and the invader.

Thématique : Ravageurs des plantes; Maladies des plantes; Ecologie animale

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