Rising temperature reduces divergence in resource use strategies in coexisting parasitoid species

C. Le Lann, Bertanne Visser, M. Mériaux, J. Moiroux, J. van Baaren, J.M. van Alphen, J. Ellers

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Coexistence of species sharing the same resources is often possible if species are phylogenetically divergent in resource acquisition and allocation traits, decreasing competition between them. Developmental and life-history traits related to resource use are influenced by environmental conditions such as temperature, but thermal trait responses may differ among species. An increase in ambient temperature may, therefore, affect trait divergence within a community, and potentially species coexistence. Parasitoids are interesting models to test this hypothesis, because multiple species commonly attack the same host, and employ divergent larval and adult host use strategies. In particular, development mode (arrested or continued host growth following parasitism) has been recognized as a major organiser of parasitoid life histories. Here, we used a comparative trait-based approach to determine thermal responses of development time, body mass, egg load, metabolic rate and energy use of the coexisting Drosophila parasitoids Asobara tabida, Leptopilina heterotoma, Trichopria drosophilae and Spalangia erythromera. We compared trait values between species and development modes, and calculated trait divergence in response to temperature, using functional diversity indices. Parasitoids differed in their thermal response for dry mass, metabolic rate and lipid use throughout adult life, but only teneral lipid reserves and egg load were affected by developmental mode. Species-specific trait responses to temperature were probably determined by their adaptations in resource use (e.g. lipogenesis or ectoparasitism). Overall, trait values of parasitoid species converged at the higher temperature. Our results suggest that local effects of warming could affect host resource partitioning by reducing trait diversity in communities. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)967-977
    Issue number3
    Early online date30 Oct 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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