All or nothing: survival, reproduction and oxidative balance in spotted wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) in response to cold.
Winter severity and overwintering capacity are key ecological factors in successful invasions, especially in ectotherms. The integration of physiological approaches into the study of invasion processes is emerging and promising. Physiological information describes the mechanisms underlying observed survival and reproductive capacities, and it can be used to predict an organism's response to environmental perturbations such as cold temperatures. We investigated the effects of various cold treatments on life history and physiological traits of an invasive pest species, Drosophila suzukii, such as survival, fertility and oxidative balance. This species, a native of temperate Asian areas, is known to survive where cold temperatures are particularly harsh and has been recently introduced into Europe and North America. We found that cold treatments had a strong impact on adult survival but no effect on female's fertility. Although only minor changes were observed after cold treatment on studied physiological traits, a strong sex-based difference was observed in both survival and physiological markers (antioxidant defences and oxidative markers). Females exhibited higher survival, reduced oxidative defences, less damage to nucleic acids, and more damage to lipids. These results suggest that D. suzukii relies on a pathway other than oxidative balance to resist cold injury. Altogether, our results provide information concerning the mechanisms of successful invasion by D. suzukii. These findings may assist in the development of population models that predict the current and future geographic ranges of this species.