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Adaptation and Specialization in a Two-Resource Environment in Drosophila Species

Amitabh Joshi and John N. Thompson
Evolution
Vol. 51, No. 3 (Jun., 1997), pp. 846-855
DOI: 10.2307/2411159
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2411159
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Adaptation and Specialization in a Two-Resource Environment in Drosophila Species
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Abstract

We assayed two components of performance (development time and survivorship), on food medium with and without ethanol, in laboratory populations of Drosophila simulans and D. melanogaster for which ethanol-medium was a novel food resource. These assays were done before and after 12 generations of rearing in either one-(regular medium only) or two-resource (regular medium and ethanol medium) environments. Initially, D. simulans was highly susceptible to ethanol, whereas D. melanogaster was relatively unaffected. After 12 generations in the two-resource environment, D. simulans showed significantly improved mean performance on ethanol medium; mean performance of D. melanogaster did not significantly change. Variation among families for both traits was higher on ethanol medium in D. simulans. Variation in D. melanogaster was not significantly affected by ethanol level, suggesting that resource quality was more important than novelty per se. In both species, the least variation was seen in populations after 12 generations in the two-resource environment. For development time in D. simulans, the decrease in variation was largely due to reduced variation within families, suggesting the evolution of canalization. Development time on the two media was not negatively correlated. In D. simulans, correlations measured before and after the experiment were not heterogeneous, suggesting that trade-offs in performance did not block diet expansion. In D. melanogaster, correlations became significantly less positive after 12 generations in the two-resource environment, supporting the view that correlations between performance on different resources may become less positive over time through selection.

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