Evolution of density-dependent wing polymorphism in insects

Takahiro Kamioka, Yoh Iwasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Questions: What are the conditions that lead to the evolution of density-dependent dispersal in wing-polymorphic insects? Key assumptions: An asexual species whose eggs, larvae, and adult stages live in many patches. Within each patch, larval growth rate depends on the amount of renewable resources that are consumed by the larvae. Dispersal-type adults migrate out of the natal patch just before the reproductive stage. In contrast, reproductive-type adults are highly fertile but do not have the ability to disperse far. Genotypes differ in the way the fraction of the dispersal type responds to density during the larval stages. The carrying capacity of the resources fluctuates between high and low values. Results: Density-dependent dispersal evolved if environmental fluctuation was high. The dispersal type was produced if the density exceeded a certain threshold, with the rate increasing as density increased. In contrast, no dispersal type evolved if environmental fluctuation was low. Also, the tendency for density dependence to evolve is enhanced by slow growth and fast mortality of larvae, high dispersal mortality, a rapid resource recovery rate, and rapid environmental fluctuation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-348
Number of pages14
JournalEvolutionary Ecology Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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