Local adaptation does not constrain the expression of behaviour in translocated wild crickets

Rodríguez-Muñoz, R., Hopwood, P., Boonekamp, J. J. , Edwards, S. A., Price, T. W., Rees, J. and Tregenza, T. (2023) Local adaptation does not constrain the expression of behaviour in translocated wild crickets. Animal Behaviour, 200, pp. 15-23. (doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2023.03.010)

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Behaviour has the potential to retard evolutionary adaptation by equipping animals with the capacity to radically change their interactions with the environment without evolving. Despite this potential for plasticity, laboratory studies frequently identify among-population differences in responses to identical stimuli, suggesting that genetic adaption often reduces behavioural flexibility. However, laboratory environments are typically far removed from nature, so their relevance to the variation we might expect to see in the wild (either among environments or as a result of changes in climate) is unclear. This is a particularly acute issue in relation to behaviour because behaving in an optimal fashion requires animals to receive and process complex sensory information which may be disrupted by laboratory conditions. We translocated newly adult male field crickets, Gryllus campestris, from five high-altitude and five low-altitude populations into a single low-altitude meadow from which we had removed all naturally present males. By tagging every individual and employing a network of 140 video cameras we were able to record comprehensive behavioural information from early adulthood until death. This allowed us to directly compare the behaviour of individuals from populations known to be genetically divergent and adapted to either high or low altitudes. We found very limited evidence for an effect on behaviour of the altitudinal environment in which crickets had evolved and developed, despite the large scale of our study (>20 000h of observations of 128 males). Our findings suggests that when provided with all the environmental cues present in their natural environment, local adaptation does not lead to substantial constraints on behaviour. This supports the hypothesis that the potential flexibility of behaviour may tend to reduce selection for local adaptation.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by Natural Environment Research Council standard grants: NE/E005403/1, NE/H02364X/1, NE/L003635/1, NE/R000328/1 and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 792215 (Boonekamp).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boonekamp, Dr Jelle
Authors: Rodríguez-Muñoz, R., Hopwood, P., Boonekamp, J. J., Edwards, S. A., Price, T. W., Rees, J., and Tregenza, T.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Animal Behaviour
Publisher:Elsevier on behalf of The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
ISSN (Online):1095-8282
Published Online:06 April 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Animal Behaviour 200:15-23
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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