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What is responsible for the variance in life history traits of a South American semi-aquatic grasshopper (Cornops aquaticum)? A test of three possible hypotheses

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Brede,  Edward G.
Working Group Tropical Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Adis,  Joachim
Working Group Tropical Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Brede, E. G., Adis, J., & Schneider, P. (2007). What is responsible for the variance in life history traits of a South American semi-aquatic grasshopper (Cornops aquaticum)? A test of three possible hypotheses. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, 42(3), 225-233. doi:10.1080/01650520701414441.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D733-5
Abstract
The semi-aquatic grasshopper Cornops aquaticum (Bruner, 1906) is native to South America, with a distribution from the Argentinian pampas to the Gulf of Mexico, and is currently being proposed as a biological control agent for the invasive water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) in South Africa. This study reports results of a neutral molecular marker (microsatellites) study on C. aquaticum within its native range. The data were analysed for levels of diversity and structure within/between South American populations, and correlations between host plant, geography and environmental/climatic variables were investigated. We found no evidence to support associations between host plant use and microsatellite genotypes (hypothesis 1). High levels of gene flow and weak genetic clustering of populations indicate a lack of differentiation, therefore an interaction between climate and local genotype (hypothesis 2) seems unlikely. Our results suggest that C. aquaticum may not have "tightly" coevolved with its host Eichhornia spp. (Pontederiaceae) as originally thought, and that instar variation might be due to the effect of local climate on phenotype (hypothesis 3) or possibly a locally adaptive trait.