Thermotolerance adaptation to human-modified habitats occurs in the native range of the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata before long-distance dispersal

Foucaud Julien, Rey Olivier, Robert Stéphanie, Crespin Laurent, Orivel Jérôme, Facon Benoît, Loiseau Anne, Jourdan Hervé, Kenne Martin, Mbenoun Masse Paul Serge, Tindo Maurice, Vonshak Merav, Estoup Arnaud. 2013. Thermotolerance adaptation to human-modified habitats occurs in the native range of the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata before long-distance dispersal. Evolutionary Applications, 6 (4) : pp. 721-734.

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Abstract : Key evolutionary events associated with invasion success are traditionally thought to occur in the introduced, rather than the native range of species. In the invasive ant Wasmannia auropunctata, however, a shift in reproductive system has been demonstrated within the native range, from the sexual non-dominant populations of natural habitats to the clonal dominant populations of human-modified habitats. Because abiotic conditions of human- modified habitats are hotter and dryer, we performed lab experiments on workers from a set of native and introduced populations, to investigate whether these ecological and genetic transitions were accompanied by a change in thermotolerance and whether such changes occurred before establishment in the introduced range. Thermotolerance levels were higher in native populations from human-modified habitats than in native populations from natural habitats, but were similar in native and introduced populations from human-modified habitats. Differences in thermotolerance could not be accounted for by differences in body size. A scenario based on local adaptation in the native range before introduction in remote areas represents the most parsimonious hypothesis to account for the observed phenotypic pattern. These findings highlight the importance of human land use in explaining major contemporary evolutionary changes. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Formicidae, Espèce envahissante, Tolérance à la chaleur, Adaptation physiologique, habitat, Écologie animale, Dynamique des populations, Interactions biologiques, Selection naturelle, Évolution, Genre humain

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Guyane française, Cameroun, Floride, Nouvelle-Calédonie

Mots-clés complémentaires : Wasmannia auropunctata

Classification Agris : L20 - Animal ecology

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 6 (2005-2013) - Agriculture, environnement, nature et sociétés

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Foucaud Julien, INRA (FRA)
  • Rey Olivier, INRA (FRA)
  • Robert Stéphanie, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR BGPI (FRA)
  • Crespin Laurent, INRA (FRA)
  • Orivel Jérôme, CNRS (GUF)
  • Facon Benoît, INRA (FRA)
  • Loiseau Anne, INRA (FRA)
  • Jourdan Hervé, IRD (NCL)
  • Kenne Martin, Université de Douala (CMR)
  • Mbenoun Masse Paul Serge, Université de Yaoundé (CMR)
  • Tindo Maurice, Université de Douala (CMR)
  • Vonshak Merav, Stanford University (USA)
  • Estoup Arnaud, INRA (FRA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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