Local climate variation predicts physiological response to desiccation in a Dipteran fruit parasite in the Pacific Northwest

Authors: Nathan Roueche*, Western Washington University, Weston Staubus, Western Washington University, Jennifer Hill, Western Washington University, Christa Kohnert, Western Washington University, Keely Hausken, Western Washington University, Anne-Marie Yanny, Western Washington University, Alison Klimke, Western Washington University, Arielle Michaelis, Western Washington University, Raven Benko, Western Washington University, Shannon Schneider, Western Washington University, Jeffrey Feder, University of Notre Dame, Dietmar Schwarz, Western Washington University
Topics: Biogeography
Keywords: Entomology, physiology, agricultural pests
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Snowberry maggot flies (Rhagoletis zephyria) are obligate parasites of snowberry fruit (Symphoricapos albus) during the larval stage of their life cycle. Following larval emergence from the fruit and prior to formation of the puparium in soils, larvae are susceptible to environmental desiccation stress. R. zephyria are a nearly ubiquitous native species in the Pacific Northwest and are known to hybridize with the economically significant non-native apple maggot flies (Rhagoletis pomonella). Wild larva collected from spatially dispersed locations within the study area were subjected to desiccation treatment in a laboratory setting. Exploratory statistics and linear models were employed in conjunction with regional multi-decade climate norms to create a predictive model of R. zephyria larval desiccation resistance. Two bioclimatic predictors were found to account for a significant level of desiccation resistance in larvae used in this experiment, allowing for a predictive map to be created illustrating the spatial nature of this response. This finding is of potential interest to regional agriculture managers, as R. pomonella distribution in the study area is surmised to be limited by desiccation, although recent results have shown that hybrids of the two species have intermediary physiological response to desiccation and may be capable of range expansion into areas of economic concern.

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