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From Income to Capital Breeding: When Diversified Strategies Sustain Species Coexistence

Abstract : There is empirical evidence of many diversified ways for energy to be acquired and allocated to reproduction, notably with strategies ranging from strict income breeding (females fueling their gametes with energy gained concomitantly during reproduction) to strict capital breeding (females storing nutrients prior reproduction). Until now, the question of whether diversification of these strategies might impact the way communities are organized has not been considered. Here, we suggest that diversified resource allocation strategies among competing species may contribute to their coexistence. We examined this hypothesis by focusing on communities composed of four phytophagous insect species that coexist and compete for egg-laying sites. From wild-caught females, we determined precisely the breeding period of each species and we described their resource acquisition and allocation to reproduction dynamics. We quantified in each species the total amount of larval energy stored by newly-emerging females and then monitored the total energy budget of females caught in the field before and throughout their breeding period. We found that the four sibling weevil species are markedly segregated along the income-capital-breeding continuum, which is correlated with clear time partitioning in their laying activity. Our results suggest that diversified resource allocation strategies might contribute to time partitioning of plant resources exploitation and thus indirectly to their coexistence. This work should further encourage studies examining the extent to which competitive coexistence might be affected by diversification of income-capital breeding strategies together with the intensity of interspecific competition, and considering the divergent evolution of these strategies.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 7, 2013 - 2:02:57 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 11, 2022 - 5:56:18 PM

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Pierre-François Pelisson, Marie-Claude Bel-Venner, David Giron, Frédéric Menu, Samuel Venner. From Income to Capital Breeding: When Diversified Strategies Sustain Species Coexistence. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2013, 8 (9), pp.e76086. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0076086⟩. ⟨hal-00870485⟩



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