University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006
Behavioural, population, and genetic processes affecting metapopulation dynamics of the Glanville fritillary butterfly
Doctoral dissertation, October 2006.
In my thesis I have been studying the effects of population fragmentation and extinction-recolonization dynamics on genetic and evolutionary processes in the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia). By conducting crosses within and among newly-colonized populations and using several fitness measures, I found a strong decrease in fitness following colonization by a few related individuals, and a strong negative relationship between parental relatedness and offspring fitness. Thereafter, I was interested in determining the number and relatedness of individuals colonizing new populations, which I did using a set of microsatellites I had previously developed for this species. Additionally, I am interested in the evolution of key life-history traits. By following the lifetime reproductive success of males emerging at different times in a semi-natural setup, I demonstrated that protandry is adaptive in males, and I was able to rule out, for M. cinxia, alternative incidental hypotheses evoked to explain the evolution of protandry in insects. Finally, in work I did together with Prof. Hanna Kokko, I am proposing bet-hedging as a new mechanism that could explain the evolution of polyandry in M. cinxia.
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Last updated 10.11.2006