A new study reveals that the ecologist’s blunder has released a set of “Russian dolls” of parasites that rupture the stomach on remote Finnish islands.
Thirty years ago, when ecologist Ilkka Hanski introduced Granville Leopard (Melitaea cinxiaOn the island of Sottunga in the Åland Islands, he planned to watch how a population of one species that lived in harsh habitats could survive.
But he didn’t expect a trio of nested parasites to come in for a ride. Two parasites live in different parasites and are themselves nested in some butterflies.
The latter parasite, parasitoid wasp larva Hyposoter horticola, They eat the injected Granville larvae inside out — for pupation, they spurt from the abdomen of their host and spin the cocoons around the larvae’s corpses.
Two more parasites build a nest inside H. horticola.. The second is the “super-parasitoid wasp”: called the parasitoid wasp Mesochorus cf. stigmaticus.. The third species is bacteria, Wolbachia pipientis, H. horticola More susceptible M. stigma ticus.. If all three stowaways are on the caterpillar host H. horticola Kill caterpillars before being killed by M. stigma ticus.. The hyperparasite digs a hole after 10 days — through the bacteria-covered flesh of the first bee parasite, and the dead caterpillar.
Still, for some reason, thirty years after their introduction, all four species survive on a small 10.4 square mile (27 square kilometers) island, despite multiple critical population clashes between butterfly hosts. I am.In a new study published in the journal on July 7th Molecular biology, Researchers analyzed the genetics of H. horticola Population and its bacteria to understand how these parasites achieved this incredible feat.
The lead author of the study, Anne Duplui, found that many cases of the fragile scaffolding of butterflies on the island and the near elimination of butterflies from their habitats are “classical loss of biodiversity loss stories.” Said.
Duploy, an evolutionary biologist at Lund University in Sweden, said Granville butterflies eat only two meadow plants as caterpillars, leaving the species vulnerable to sudden changes in the environment. For example, if these meadows were allowed to grow, “the bushes and trees would be taken over and the host plants would be extinct under the tree cover,” she said. Granville larvae are also strongly affected by climatic events such as drought. Drought can cause premature awakening from dormancy. This is a state of interrupted animation that some animal embryos enter to survive the harsh conditions.
“If a drought occurs [fall]”When a larva wakes up from dormancy, it will starve to death,” Duploy told Live Science. The population will plummet. “
However, despite many critically endangered events, butterflies survive and have a very high genetic diversity — due to the high genetic diversity of the individuals first introduced to the island.
The parasites survive as well as their butterfly hosts. Duplouy gives two reasons for their survival. First, the Sottunga butterfly population may be isolated from that species’ population elsewhere in the archipelago, but its bee parasites are not. Both H.horticola and M.stigmaticus are better flyers than butterflies, especially H.horticola, which is capable of surfing in strong winds. Some gusts even carried individual H. horticola bees to a previously uninhabited island north of Sottunga, researchers found in their research.
Second, bees, especially H. horticola, have an incredibly efficient breeding strategy.
“Butterflies lay eggs in clutches of 50 to 200 eggs, and research suggests that bees can find all of these butterfly egg clutches in the field,” Duplouy said. “One parasitoid female tours the field and checks the development of butterfly eggs daily. When they are ready to hatch as larvae, the parasitoid is still in the intact butterfly eggshell. As long as there are butterflies, bees are likely to survive now. “
According to the researchers, H. Not as good a flyer as the horticola bee host, the superparasite M. stigmaticus bees are not very well dispersed in the islands around Sottunga and rely on inbreeding to survive.
Accidental introduction of parasites can be a fascinating case study, but researchers have found that both endangered and related species before attempts are made to restore any of them to new ones. We believe that it also provides a clear warning about the need to understand the environment. For example, parasitoid wasps are relatively well understood by humans as they are commonly deployed as pest control in agriculture, but more elusive species may have caused havoc in the new environment.
Despite the amazing survival of butterflies and their parasitoids so far, Duploy has said that the population decline caused by the sudden drought has been Climate change It will be more intense.
“We are worried about Sottunga populations, butterflies and their parasitoids. Over the last few years, droughts have occurred more regularly and population declines across the Åland Islands have become more severe.” She said. “The population of Föglö in southern Sottunga was extinct a few years ago. Sottunga has been a very small population for many years. I am worried that the end will soon come. 30 years of tenacity. It’s a shame to lose it afterwards. “
Originally published in Live Science.
A set of “Russian dolls” of parasites that rupture the stomach released inside butterflies on remote Finnish islands
Source link A set of “Russian dolls” of parasites that rupture the stomach released inside butterflies on remote Finnish islands