Butterflies And Plants A Study In Coevolution Pdf

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The greatest diversity of butterflies and their host plants occurs in tropical regions. Some groups of butterflies in the tropics exhibit monophagous feeding in the larval stage, exploiting only one family of plants; others are polyphagous, feeding on plants in two or more distinct families.

Two related plants, C.

BUTTERFLIES AND PLANTS: A STUDY IN COEVOLUTION

The greatest diversity of butterflies and their host plants occurs in tropical regions. Some groups of butterflies in the tropics exhibit monophagous feeding in the larval stage, exploiting only one family of plants; others are polyphagous, feeding on plants in two or more distinct families.

The two major types of tropical habitats for butterflies, namely primary and secondary forests, offer very different evolutionary opportunities for the exploitation of plants as larval food. Butterflies are faced with the major logistical problem, as are many other herbivorous insects, of depositing eggs on the correct plant for successful larval feeding.

This paper, using the concepts of phenotype set and spatial patchiness of resources, attemps to make some predictions as to the optimal phenotypic systems for monophagous and polyphagous feeding in tropical butterflies, as related to the spatial patchiness of larval host plants in primary and secondary forests.

In addition to the secondary compound chemistry of larval host plants as playing a role in the evolution of monophagy and polyphagy, the assumption is made that the spatial patchiness of host plants within and among different families also acts as a major factor in determining optimal ranges of phenotypes for different patterns of larval feeding. Owing to the high spatial patchiness of primary forest species of canopy trees and vines, it is predicted that butterflies exploiting these will be mostly polyphagous, whereas secondary forests having stable formations of fewer plant species and larger patches of these plants, will have mostly monophagous species.

Forest understories may have both monophagous and polyphagous species, depending upon the layer of forest and the general type of understory i. Field data on some groups of butterflies from tropical America support these predictions.

Polyphagous butterflies are predicted to possess a genetic system of mixed morphs with a population being polymorphic as a whole; monophagous butterflies are predicted to have individuals all more or less similar genetically, and with a high amount of genic variation within individuals.

Other forms of monophagy may evolve in species that are essentially monomorphic but with various mechanisms physiological, developmental, behavioral of phenotypic flexibility at the individual level. Although the environment is essentially coarse-grained for larvae since most are sedentary and polymorphism is an optimal adaptive strategy, the oviposition strategy of the adult must also be considered and some situations i.

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Coevolution

In biology, coevolution occurs when two or more species reciprocally affect each other's evolution through the process of natural selection. The term sometimes is used for two traits in the same species affecting each other's evolution, as well as gene-culture coevolution. Charles Darwin mentioned evolutionary interactions between flowering plants and insects in On the Origin of Species Although he did not use the word coevolution, he suggested how plants and insects could evolve through reciprocal evolutionary changes. Naturalists in the late s studied other examples of how interactions among species could result in reciprocal evolutionary change.

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Coevolution

Visual cues are important for insects to find flowers and host plants. It has been proposed that the diversity of leaf shape in Passiflora vines could be a result of negative frequency dependent selection driven by visual searching behavior among their butterfly herbivores. Here we tested the hypothesis that Heliconius butterflies use leaf shape as a cue to initiate approach toward a host plant.

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  1. Charlot A. 20.05.2021 at 02:05

    Butterflies and Plants: A Study in Coevolution. Paul R. Ehrlich; Peter H. Raven. Evolution, Vol. 18, No. 4. (Dec., ), pp. Stable URL.