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    A key to understanding life's great diversity is discerning how competing organisms divide limiting resources to coexist in diverse communities. While temporal resource partitioning has long been hypothesized to reduce the negative effects of interspecific competition, empirical evidence suggests that time may not often be an axis along which animal species routinely subdivide resources. Here, we present evidence to the contrary in the world's most biodiverse group of animals: insect parasites (parasitoids). Specifically, we conducted a meta‐analysis of 64 studies from 41 publications to determine if temporal resource partitioningviavariation in the timing of a key life‐history trait, egg deposition (oviposition), mitigates interspecific competition between species pairs sharing the same insect host. When competing species were manipulated to oviposit at (or near) the same time in or on a single host in the laboratory, competition was common, and one species was typically inherently superior (i.e. survived to adulthood a greater proportion of the time). In most cases, however, the inferior competitor could gain a survivorship advantage by ovipositing earlier (or in a smaller number of cases later) into shared hosts. Moreover, this positive (or in a few cases negative) priority advantage gained by the inferior competitor increased as the interval between oviposition times became greater. The results from manipulative experiments were also correlated with patterns of life‐history timing and demography in nature: the more inherently competitively inferior a species was in the laboratory, the greater the interval between oviposition times of taxa in co‐occurring populations. Additionally, the larger the interval between oviposition times of competing taxa, the more abundant the inferior species was in populations where competitors were known to coexist. Overall, our findings suggest that temporal resource partitioningviavariation in oviposition timing may help to facilitate species coexistence and structures diverse insect communities by altering demographic measures of species success. We argue that the lack of evidence for a more prominent role of temporal resource partitioning in promoting species coexistence may reflect taxonomic differences, with a bias towards larger‐sized animals. For smaller species like parasitic insects that are specialized to attack one or a group of closely related hosts, have short adult lifespans and discrete generation times, compete directly for limited resources in small, closed arenas and have life histories constrained by host phenology, temporal resource subdivisionviavariation in life history may play a critical role in allowing species to coexist by alleviating the negative effects of interspecific competition.

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  2. Abstract

    An outstanding issue in the study of insect host races concerns the idea of ‘recursive adaptive divergence’, whereby adaptation can occur repeatedly across space and/or time, and the most recent adaptive episode is defined by one or more previously similar cases. The host plant shift of the apple maggot fly,Rhagoletis pomonella(Walsh) (Diptera: Tephritidae, Carpomyini), from ancestral downy hawthorn [Crataegus mollis(Torr. & A. Gray) Scheele] to introduced, domesticated apple (Malus domesticaBorkh.) in the eastern USA has long served as a model system for investigating ecologically driven host race formation in phytophagous insect specialists. Here, we report results from an annual geography survey of eclosion time demonstrating a similar ecological pattern among nascent host‐associated populations of the fly recently introduced ca. 40 years ago from its native range in the east into the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the USA. Specifically, using data collected from 25 locations across 5 years, we show that apple‐infesting fly populations in the PNW have rapidly and repeatedly shifted (and maintained differences in) their adult eclosion life‐history timing to infest two novel hawthorn hosts with different fruiting phenologies – a native species (Crataegus douglasiiLindl.) and an introduced species (Crataegus monogynaJacq.) – generating partial allochronic reproductive isolation in the process. The shifts in the PNW parallel the classic case of host race formation in the eastern USA, but have occurred bi‐directionally to two hawthorn species with phenologies slightly earlier (black hawthorn) and significantly later (ornamental hawthorn) than apple. Our results imply thatR. pomonellacan both possess and retain extensive‐standing variation (i.e., ‘adaptive memory’) in diapause traits, even following introductions, to rapidly and temporally track novel phenological host opportunities when they arise. Thus, ‘specialized’ host races may not constitute evolutionary dead ends. Rather, adaptive phenotypic and genetic memory may carry over from one host shift to the next, recursively facilitating host race formation in phytophagous insects.

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  3. Abstract

    For insect species in temperate environments, seasonal timing is often governed by the regulation of diapause, a complex developmental programme that allows insects to weather unfavourable conditions and synchronize their life cycles with available resources. Diapause development consists of a series of distinct phases including initiation, maintenance, termination and post‐diapause development. The evolution of insect seasonal timing depends in part on how these phases of diapause development and post‐diapause development interact to affect variation in phenology. Here, we dissect the physiological basis of a recently evolved phenological shift inRhagoletis pomonella(Diptera: Tephritidae), a model system for ecological divergence. A recently derived population ofR. pomonellashifted from specializing on native hawthorn fruit to earlier fruiting introduced apples, resulting in a 3–4 week shift in adult emergence timing. We tracked metabolic rates of individual flies across post‐winter development to test which phases of development may act either independently or in combination to contribute to this recently evolved divergence in timing. Apple and hawthorn flies differed in a number of facets of their post‐winter developmental trajectories. However, divergent adaptation in adult emergence phenology in these flies was due almost entirely to the end of the pupal diapause maintenance phase, with post‐diapause development having a very small effect. The relatively simple underpinnings of variation in adult emergence phenology suggest that further adaptation to seasonal change in these flies for this trait might be largely due to the timing of diapause termination unhindered by strong covariance among different components of post‐diapause development.

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  4. Abstract

    An important criterion for understanding speciation is the geographic context of population divergence. Three major modes of allopatric, parapatric, and sympatric speciation define the extent of spatial overlap and gene flow between diverging populations. However, mixed modes of speciation are also possible, whereby populations experience periods of allopatry, parapatry, and/or sympatry at different times as they diverge. Here, we report clinal patterns of variation for 21 nuclear‐encoded microsatellites and a wing spot phenotype for cherry‐infestingRhagoletis(Diptera: Tephritidae) across North America consistent with these flies having initially diverged in parapatry followed by a period of allopatric differentiation in the early Holocene. However, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) displays a different pattern; cherry flies at the ends of the clines in the eastern USA and Pacific Northwest share identical haplotypes, while centrally located populations in the southwestern USA and Mexico possess a different haplotype. We hypothesize that the mitochondrial difference could be due to lineage sorting but more likely reflects a selective sweep of a favorable mtDNA variant or the spread of an endosymbiont. The estimated divergence time for mtDNA suggests possible past allopatry, secondary contact, and subsequent isolation between USA and Mexican fly populations initiated before the Wisconsin glaciation. Thus, the current genetics of cherry flies may involve different mixed modes of divergence occurring in different portions of the fly's range. We discuss the need for additional DNA sequencing and quantification of prezygotic and postzygotic reproductive isolation to verify the multiple mixed‐mode hypothesis for cherry flies and draw parallels from other systems to assess the generality that speciation may commonly involve complex biogeographies of varying combinations of allopatric, parapatric, and sympatric divergence.

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  5. Abstract

    Elucidating the mechanisms and conditions facilitating the formation of biodiversity are central topics in evolutionary biology. A growing number of studies imply that divergent ecological selection may often play a critical role in speciation by counteracting the homogenising effects of gene flow. Several examples involve phytophagous insects, where divergent selection pressures associated with host plant shifts may generate reproductive isolation, promoting speciation. Here, we use ddRADseq to assess the population structure and to test for host‐related genomic differentiation in the European cherry fruit fly,Rhagoletis cerasi(L., 1758) (Diptera: Tephritidae). This tephritid is distributed throughout Europe and western Asia, and has adapted to two different genera of host plants,Prunusspp. (cherries) andLoniceraspp. (honeysuckle). Our data imply that geographic distance and geomorphic barriers serve as the primary factors shaping genetic population structure across the species range. Locally, however, flies genetically cluster according to host plant, with consistent allele frequency differences displayed by a subset of loci betweenPrunusandLoniceraflies across four sites surveyed in Germany and Norway. These 17 loci display significantly higher FSTvalues between host plants than others. They also showed high levels of linkage disequilibrium within and betweenPrunusandLoniceraflies, supporting host‐related selection and reduced gene flow. Our findings support the existence of sympatric host races inR. cerasiembedded within broader patterns of geographic variation in the fly, similar to the related apple maggot,Rhagoletis pomonella, in North America.

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  6. Abstract

    The study of ecological speciation is inherently linked to the study of selection. Methods for estimating phenotypic selection within a generation based on associations between trait values and fitness (e.g. survival) of individuals are established. These methods attempt to disentangle selection acting directly on a trait from indirect selection caused by correlations with other traits via multivariate statistical approaches (i.e. inference of selection gradients). The estimation of selection on genotypic or genomic variation could also benefit from disentangling direct and indirect selection on genetic loci. However, achieving this goal is difficult with genomic data because the number of potentially correlated genetic loci (p) is very large relative to the number of individuals sampled (n). In other words, the number of model parameters exceeds the number of observations (p ≫ n). We present simulations examining the utility of whole‐genome regression approaches (i.e. Bayesian sparse linear mixed models) for quantifying direct selection in cases wherep ≫ n. Such models have been used for genome‐wide association mapping and are common in artificial breeding. Our results show they hold promise for studies of natural selection in the wild and thus of ecological speciation. But we also demonstrate important limitations to the approach and discuss study designs required for more robust inferences.

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  7. Schilder, Rudolf (Ed.)
    Abstract Parasitoids comprise a speciose insect group, displaying a wide array of life history strategies. In the Pacific Northwest of the United States, the tephritid fruit flies Rhagoletis tabellaria (Fitch) and Rhagoletis indifferens Curran infest red osier dogwood, Cornus sericea L. (Cornaceae), and bitter cherry, Prunus emarginata (Douglas ex Hooker) Eaton (Rosaceae), respectively. The flies are parasitized by different braconid wasps at different life stages; Utetes tabellariae (Fischer) oviposits into R. tabellaria eggs, whereas Diachasma muliebre (Muesebeck) oviposits into R. indifferens larvae feeding in cherries. Because Rhagoletis only have one major generation a year and the wasps attack temporally distinct fly life stages, we predicted that eclosion times of U. tabellariae should more closely follow that of its host than the larval-attacking D. muliebre. As predicted, U. tabellariae eclosed on average 6.0–12.5 d later than R. tabellaria, whereas D. muliebre eclosed on average 32.1 d after R. indifferens. Unexpectedly, however, longer chill duration differentially affected the systems; longer overwinters minimally influenced eclosion times of R. tabellaria and U. tabellariae but caused earlier eclosion of both R. indifferens and D. muliebre. Results imply that in temperate regions, diapause timing in braconid wasps evolves in response to both host life stage attacked and fly eclosion characteristics, possibly reflecting differential effects of winter on host plant fruiting phenology. Differences in phenological sensitivity of the lower host plant trophic level to variation in environmental conditions may have cascading effects, sequentially and differentially affecting eclosion times in higher frugivore (fly) and parasitoid (wasp) trophic levels. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
  9. null (Ed.)
    Changes in behaviour often drive rapid adaptive evolution and speciation. However, the mechanistic basis for behavioural shifts is largely unknown. The tephritid fruit fly Rhagoletis pomonella is an example of ecological specialization and speciation in action via a recent host plant shift from hawthorn to apple. These flies primarily use specific odours to locate fruit, and because they mate only on or near host fruit, changes in odour preference for apples versus hawthorns translate directly to prezygotic reproductive isolation, initiating speciation. Using a variety of techniques, we found a reversal between apple and hawthorn flies in the sensory processing of key odours associated with host fruit preference at the first olfactory synapse, linking changes in the antennal lobe of the brain with ongoing ecological divergence. Indeed, changes to specific neural pathways of any sensory modality may be a broad mechanism for changes in animal behaviour, catalysing the genesis of new biodiversity. 
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