Evolution of Preference and Performance Relationships

Timothy P. Craig and Joanne K. Itami

in Specialization, Speciation, and Radiation

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780520251328
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933828 | DOI:
Evolution of Preference and Performance Relationships

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Preference is nonrandom oviposition on resources offered simultaneously or sequentially. Performance is any measure of offspring survival, growth, or reproduction that is presumed to be correlated with fitness. Natural selection should favor female phytophagous insects that have a preference for ovipositing on resources where their offspring will have the highest fitness. This assertion has been termed the naïve adaptationist hypothesis. This hypothesis has been tested by measuring oviposition preference and offspring performance in a wide range of interactions, and contrary to initial expectations a wide range of preference–performance relationships have been found. To determine whether eggs are oviposited where offspring fitness is highest, this chapter discusses the evolution of preference and performance relationships. It looks at limiting constraints ranging from complexity constraints to sensory constraints and searching constraints. The chapter also compares the preference–performance relationships in three herbivores that differ in their feeding niches and in the strength of their preference–performance relationships (Euura lasiolepis and willows, Aphrophora pectoralis and willows, and Eurosta solidaginis and goldenrods).

Keywords: Euura lasiolepis; willows; Aphrophora pectoralis; Eurosta solidaginis; goldenrods; herbivores; preference; performance; naïve adaptationist hypothesis; feeding niches

Chapter.  7768 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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