Correlations between larval feeding preference and performance in Lymantria dispar.
Fang, Arnold; Kiedrowski, Sara; Kronk, Christine
AbstractThe ""Adaptationist Paradigm"", the belief that natural selection is the dominant evolutionary force, has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. This study examines the role of natural selection in the evolution of feeding preference and performance among gypsy moth larvae. Due to the complex, highly polygenic structure of these traits, natural selection would presumably have difficulty operating in their evolution. However, statistical analysis revealed that there is a significant positive correlation between larval feeding preference and performance (i.e., growth) within the population and among different egg masses. These results suggest that natural selection is a powerful factor in the evolution of feeding preference and performance in gypsy moth larvae.
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