Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Environmental conditions differently affect the wing size and shape of two blow fly species (Calliphoridae) of forensic importance in the Brazilian tropical ecosystems.

Abstract

Environmental pressures challenge the survivorship of wildlife, and adaptive ability is key to their success and establishment. However, it remains unclear how changes in environmental conditions affect the phenotypic plasticity of some species. Studies that consider the effect of the environment (e.g., climate changes) on species morphology are essential to better understand his potential resilience. Thus, Diptera species appear as an excellent model. Here we investigated the effect of environmental conditions on wing size and shape within and between one native and one invasive blowfly species populations, along an ecoregional gradient in Brazil. For native species, wing size was affected by almost all environmental variables, while wing shape was unaffected. For invasive species, humidity best explained both wing size and wing shape variation. Our results show a differentiation between populations for both species, but a transversal comparison reveals that invasive species do not seem to be affected in the same way as the native species by climatic variations in the field. Temperature and humidity are the most significant environmental variables associated with differences in wing size and shape for invasive species, indicating an elevated climate tolerance of this species, which may be associated with its invasive characteristics and adaptive potential. Thus, our findings shed light on the importance of assessing the individual and compound effect of environmental variation and biological invasion on the adaptation of native species, since it is expected to increase 3°C with a 20% overall reduction in the amount of rainfall in the tropical region of Brazil by 2100.