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A Field Investigation of Larval Competition in Domestic Drosophila

W. D. Atkinson
Journal of Animal Ecology
Vol. 48, No. 1 (Feb., 1979), pp. 91-102
DOI: 10.2307/4102
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4102
Page Count: 12
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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.
A Field Investigation of Larval Competition in Domestic Drosophila
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Abstract

(1) This paper investigates the occurrence of larval competition in several domestic species of Drosophila in a fruit and vegetable market. (2) Regular seasonal changes in body size were demonstrated in D. melanogaster Meigen. (3) The heritability of body size in the field was negligible and so the seasonal changes must have been due to the environmental effects of temperature and larval density. (4) Multiple regression analysis was used to separate the effects of temperature from the effects of larval density. Density was found to account for a significant amount of the variation in body size in D. melanogaster. This is evidence of intraspecific competition. (5) Interspecific competition was demonstrated by the fact that the density of D. melanogaster was found to affect the body size of several other species. (6) The coexistence of seven species of Drosophila in the fruit and vegetable market was explained by the partitioning of breeding sites and by the fact that the community may never reach equilibrium.

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