Compensating for a bad start: compensatory growth across life stages in an organism with a complex life cycle
2016 (English)In: Canadian Journal of Zoology, ISSN 0008-4301, E-ISSN 1480-3283, Vol. 94, no 1, 41-47 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Organisms with a complex life cycle are characterized by a life-history shift through metamorphosis and include organisms such as insects and amphibians. They must optimize their use of resources and behaviour across different life stages to maximize their fitness. An interesting question with regard to such life-history shifts is whether growth in the juvenile stage can be compensated for in the adult stage. Here we ask whether emerald damselflies (Lestes sponsa (Hansemann, 1823)) are able to compensate for depressed growth during the juvenile aquatic stage in their terrestrial adult stage. Lestes sponsa emerge at a fixed adult body size, but feed during the adult stage and are thus able to gain mass as adults. We performed a mark-recapture study to answer whether individuals that emerge from metamorphosis with a low mass are able to compensate by subsequent mass gain during the adult stage. Results showed that compensatory mass gain occurred in the adult stage such that small individuals gained more mass than large individuals. We also found that females gained more mass than males. However, individuals that emerged at a low mass still had lower mass as mature adults than individuals that emerged at a high mass, suggesting that compensation was not complete. This suggests that larval ecology and adult fitness are tightly linked and future research should focus more on elucidating the nature of this relationship.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 94, no 1, 41-47 p.
compensatory growth, complex life cycle, habitat shift, fitness, optimal body size and mass, emerald damselfly, Lestes sponsa
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-280912DOI: 10.1139/cjz-2015-0157ISI: 000370053700006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-280912DiVA: diva2:912304