- 1) Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, 92717, Irvine, CA, USA
- 2) White Mountain Research Station, University of California, 93514, Bishop, CA, USA
Adults and larvae of Chrysomela aenicollis (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) feed on foliage of Salix species (Salicaceae) between 2,400–3,400 m above sea level in the eastcentral Sierra Nevada mountains of California. We predicted that (1) cold climatic conditions would be a more frequent source of mortality at higher elevations, (2) mildweather agents of mortality such as predation should be more severe at lower elevations, and (3) populations of C. aenicollis would be adapted to the local selective regime at each elevation. We tested these predictions in 1984 and 1985 by transferring over 6,000 eggs and larvae within and between two sites at 2,810 and 3,240 m elevation above sea level. During mild summer weather at both sites, survivorship on Salix branches isolated by a barrier of sticky resin was similar to that on control branches, and we concluded that aerial predators were the primary cause of mortality. At least one major predator, a solitary wasp (Symmorphus sp., Hymenoptera: Eumenidae), was specifically associated with C. aenicollis at the lower site, where beetle mortality was highest. At both sites in 1984 and 1985, larvae originating from the lower site remained in aggregations and survived more frequently than larvae from the upper site, suggesting that they are better defended against predators. During a storm with cold weather late in the 1984 season, larvae and pupae died more frequently at the upper site, and there was a marginally significant trend (P<0.1) for the lower site individuals to die more frequently than upper site larvae during the cold storm. Upper site larvae grew approximately 10% faster than lower site larvae at the lower site and under controlled conditions in the laboratory. These findings indicate that upper and lower site populations were adapted to the local selective regime, which suggest how populations of montane phytopagous insects may adapt to changing elevations.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics