Competition and dispersal in the pea aphid: clonal variation and correlations across traits
Hazell, S. P., Gwynn, D. M., Ceccarelli, S. and Fellowes, M. D. E. (2005) Competition and dispersal in the pea aphid: clonal variation and correlations across traits. Ecological Entomology, 30 (3). pp. 293-298. ISSN 0307-6946
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.0307-6946.2005.00703.x
1. The presence of an across-species trade-off between dispersal ability and competitive ability has been proposed as a mechanism that facilitates coexistence. It is not clear if a similar trade-off exists within species. Such a trade-off would constrain the evolution of either trait and, given appropriate selection pressures, promote local adaptation in these traits. 2. This study found substantial levels of heritable variation in competitive ability of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris (Homoptera: Aphididae), measured in terms of relative survival when reared with a single clone of the vetch aphid, Megoura viciae Buckton (Homoptera: Aphididae). 3. Pea aphids can move to new patches by either flying (longer distance dispersal) or walking (local dispersal) from plant to plant. There was considerable clonal variation in dispersal ability, measured in terms of the proportion of winged offspring produced, and ability to survive away from their host plant. 4. Winged individuals showed longer off-plant survival times than wingless forms of the same pea aphid clone. 5. There was no evidence of a relationship between clonal competitive ability and either measure of dispersal ability, although the power of the test is limited by the number of pea aphid clones used in the trial. 6. However, there was a positive correlation between clonal fecundity and the proportion of winged offspring produced. Although speculative, it is suggested that clones that are more likely to either overwhelm their host plant or attract higher numbers of natural enemies as a result of having higher fecundity are more likely to produce winged morphs.