Factors affecting adaptation of populations to heterogenous environments is a core question in evolutionary biology. Broadly, fitness related traits should also affect adaptation in addition to population genetics and demography. Female contexts such as age and density have been shown to impact fecundity and the speed of offspring development. This, in turn, can have downstream effects on subsequent generations through distribution of eggs across resources, hence influencing adaptation. To test this prediction, I used experimental evolution in a full factorial design, with populations founded by young or old females that experienced either low or high density. Interestingly, foundress context did not alter population dynamics, but affected the change in fecundity and oviposition resource choice within ten generations. Thus, these long lasting maternal effects are not mediated through population demography. In ongoing work, I am trying to understand the physiological and biochemical basis of these context-dependent effects.
Impact of foundress context on adaptation to a novel habitat
Abstract ID: 64
Event: The 3rd AsiaEvo Conference
Topic: Open category
Presenter Name: Shubha Govindarajan