Acclimation of thermal physiology in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster: A test of an optimality model

B. S. Cooper, M. Czarnoleski, Michael Angilletta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many organisms modify their physiological functions by acclimating to changes in their environment. Recent studies of thermal physiology have been influenced by verbal models that fail to consider the selective advantage of acclimation and thus make no predictions about variation in acclimation capacity. We used a quantitative model of optimal plasticity to generate predictions about the capacity of Drosophila melanogaster to acclimate to developmental temperature. This model predicts that the ability to acclimate thermal sensitivity should evolve when temperature varies greatly among generations. Based on the model, we expected that flies from the highly seasonal environment of New Jersey would acclimate thermal sensitivity more than would flies from the less seasonal environment of Florida. When raised at constant and fluctuating temperatures, flies from these populations failed to adjust their thermal optima in the way predicted by the model, suggesting that current assumptions about functional and genetic constraints should be reconsidered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2346-2355
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume23
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

Keywords

  • Acclimation
  • Developmental plasticity
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Fecundity
  • Optimality theory
  • Performance curve
  • Reaction norm
  • Temperature
  • Thermal sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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