Helsingin yliopisto

 

Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Behavioural, population, and genetic processes affecting metapopulation dynamics of the Glanville fritillary butterfly

Alia Sarhan

Doctoral dissertation, October 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biosciences, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.

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

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