Evidence of phenotypic plasticity along an altitudinal gradient in the dung beetle Onthophagus proteus

Stanbrook, R. A., Harris, W.E., Wheater, C.P. and Jones, M. (2021) Evidence of phenotypic plasticity along an altitudinal gradient in the dung beetle Onthophagus proteus. PeerJ, 9.

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Abstract

High altitude insects are an ecologically specialized group and possess a suite of adaptions which allow persistence in the inhospitable conditions often associated with mountain tops. Changes in body coloration and reductions or increases in body size are thought to be examples of such adaptions. Melanic individuals, or individuals containing high levels of eumelanin, possess several traits which increase resistance to ultraviolet radiation and desiccation, while aiding thermoregulation. Trait variation is often observed in dung beetles and is associated with dimorphism and sexual selection. In this study, we identified trait changes which occur across an altitudinal gradient by measuring morphological colour and body size traits in a montane insect.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Polyphenism, Trait variation, Dung beetle, Altitude, Afromontane forest
Divisions: Agriculture and Environment (from 1.08.20)
Depositing User: Mrs Rachael Harper
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2021 15:54
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2021 11:30
URI: https://hau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17647

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