Strong selection on mandible and nest features in a carpenter bee that nests in two sympatric host plants

Luis Flores-Prado, Carlos F. Pinto, Alejandra Rojas, FRANCISCO ENRIQUE FONTURBEL RADA

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Host plants are used by herbivorous insects as feeding or nesting resources. In wood-boring insects, host plants features may impose selective forces leading to phenotypic differentiation on traits related to nest construction. Carpenter bees build their nests in dead stems or dry twigs of shrubs and trees; thus, mandibles are essential for the nesting process, and the nest is required for egg laying and offspring survival. We explored the shape and intensity of natural selection on phenotypic variation on three size measures of the bees (intertegular width, wing length, and mandible area) and two nest architecture measures (tunnel length and diameter) on bees using the native species Chusquea quila (Poaceae), and the alloctonous species Rubus ulmifolius (Rosaceae), in central Chile. Our results showed significant and positive linear selection gradients for tunnel length on both hosts, indicating that bees building long nests have more offspring. Bees with broader mandibles show greater fitness on C. quila but not on R. ulmifolius. Considering that C. quila represents a selective force on mandible area, we hypothesized a high adaptive value of this trait, resulting in higher fitness values when nesting on this host, despite its wood is denser and hence more difficult to be bored. Host plants are used by herbivorous insects as feeding or nesting resources. We explored the shape and intensity of natural selection on phenotypic variation on Manuelia postica (Apidae) and its nest features, on two host plants. There were significant and positive linear selection gradients for mandible area and nest length, indicating that bees with brooders mandibles, building long nests have more offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1820-1827
Number of pages8
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume4
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Fitness
  • Nest architecture
  • Nesting substrate
  • Plant-insect interactions
  • Selection gradients

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Strong selection on mandible and nest features in a carpenter bee that nests in two sympatric host plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this