Original Paper

Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 1311-1329

Intraspecific hybridization, life history strategies and potential invasion success in a parasitoid wasp

  • Chiara BenvenutoAffiliated withBiology of Introduced Populations, Institute Sophia-Agrobiotech, (INRA–CNRS–UNS)UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin
  • , Sandrine Cheyppe-BuchmannAffiliated withBiology of Introduced Populations, Institute Sophia-Agrobiotech, (INRA–CNRS–UNS)
  • , Gérald BermondAffiliated withResearch and Development in Biological Control, Institute Sophia-Agrobiotech, (INRA–CNRS–UNS)
  • , Nicolas RisAffiliated withResearch and Development in Biological Control, Institute Sophia-Agrobiotech, (INRA–CNRS–UNS)Research and Development in Biological Control, Centre INRA PACA Email author 
  • , Xavier FauvergueAffiliated withBiology of Introduced Populations, Institute Sophia-Agrobiotech, (INRA–CNRS–UNS)

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Abstract

Classical biological control—the introduction of exotic species to permanently control pests—offers an applied framework to test ecological and evolutionary hypotheses derived from invasion biology. One such hypothesis is that intraspecific hybridization can facilitate invasions because hybrids express higher phenotypic mean and/or variance than their parents. We tested this hypothesis using the parasitoid wasp Psyttalia lounsburyi, a candidate biocontrol agent for the olive fly Bactrocera oleae. Under laboratory conditions, we found marked differentiations between two populations of wasps, from South Africa and Kenya, in terms of life history strategies. South African females were better reproducers than Kenyan females, but the opposite was observed for males. Reaction norms showed different effects of developmental temperature on fecundity depending on the genotype. However, neither heterosis nor hybrid breakdown were observed. Hence, in this system, sex-specific effects of hybridization and genotype-by-environment interactions jeopardize any straightforward prediction on the fitness of hybrids. Therefore, our paper contributes to tone down the hybrid advantage hypothesis in invasion biology.

Keywords

Hybridization Classical biological control Cyto-nuclear effect Genotype-by-environment interaction Heterosis Variance Reaction norms