The interaction of photoperiod and temperature in diapause timing: a copepod example
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Hairston, Nelson G., Jr.; Kearns, C. M.
In many organisms, photoperiod and temperature are thought to be the most significant token cues for seasonally timed life history events, including diapause in arthropods. A common pattern in many species of terrestrial insects and several copepod species is the existence of a critical daylength on one side of which the animals do not enter diapause and on the other side of which they do. Temperature plays a secondary role as modifier of the critical daylength. In some species, however, including the freshwater copepod Diaptomus sanguineus, the fraction of females making subitaneous eggs (eggs that hatch immediately) undergoes a very gradual transition as daylength changes over the natural range of photoperiods experienced in nature. Here we show that temperature is as important as photoperiod in cuing diapause timing in a population of D. sanguineus living in Bullhead Pond, Rhode Island. When ecologically relevant photoperiod and temperature cues are provided in the laboratory, the copepods rapidly switch from producing subitaneous eggs to producing diapausing eggs in a way that is typical of the seasonal switch seen in the pond. We provide a graphical model that illustrates how copepod sensitivities to photoperiod and temperature interact to produce an abrupt transition, and we discuss how natural selection should act on D. sanguineus diapause response to produce the variation in diapause timing seen within and between natural populations.
University of Chicago Press
Previously Published As
Biological Bulletin (1995) 189:42-48.