Seasonal changes in female size and its relation to reproduction in the prasitoid Asobara tabida

Jacintha Ellers*, Minka Bax, Jacques J M Van Alphen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The relation between female size and fitness was studied in female Asobara tabida throughout the field season. The size of A. tabida females varied considerably, with average size being smallest in the middle of the season. There was a positive correlation of realized fecundity with size, and the fitness advantage of larger females increased later in the season. A possible explanation for this can be found in the energy expenditure during the season. Regression analysis showed that fat use increases with size of the female, but also with temperature. Temperature was low early and late in the season, but high in the middle. We argue that the high temperatures may constrain fitness advantages of large females because of their increased metabolic needs. Variation in the form of the fitness function within the season may moderate directional selection for larger females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-314
Number of pages6
JournalOikos
Volume92
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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