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Body size and sexual size dimorphism in Acanthoscelides macrophthalmus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) populations occurring on Leucaena leucocephala (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae): an intraspecific approach

Grant number: 12/11612-4
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2012 - September 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Nogueira Rossi
Grantee:Marcelo Nogueira Rossi
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Ambientais, Químicas e Farmacêuticas (ICAQF). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Diadema. Diadema , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Cibele Stramare Ribeiro-Costa ; Eloísa Brandão Haga


An essential question in ecology and evolutionary biology is to understand systematic patterns of body size variation among different species and within species, since body size can affect the fitness of organisms with important adaptive consequences. Besides, it has been known that the intensity of such variations may occur differently in males and females of a given species, generating variations in the Sexual Size Dimorphism (SSD). The quality and quantity of food resources are important variables, which can influence body size selection. For some insect species of the subfamily Bruchinae, which are exclusively seed feeders, the quality of the host plant is relevant as a source of variation in body size, demonstrating that these organisms can show phenotypic plasticity in body size. However, very few is currently known about which physical and chemical seed traits significantly affect body size and SSD of these insects, and few studies have experimentally investigated the frequency as well as the extent of phenotypic plasticity in this group. Using as a study model the insect-plant system composed by Leucaena leucocephala (Fabaceae: Mimosoideae) and its seed predator Acanthoscelides macrophthalmus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae), the current study is aimed to investigate the relative contribution of physical and chemical traits of L. leucocephala seeds on body size and SSD of A. macrophthalmus. In addition, it will be examined whether A. macrophthalmus presents phenotypic plasticity in body size due to variations in physical and chemical seed traits. To answer these questions, two experiments will be carried out in the laboratory, which were carefully described throughout the project. (AU)

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Scientific publications (6)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
ROSSI, M. N.; HAGA, E. B.. Testing Rensch's rule in Acanthoscelides macrophthalmus, a seed-feeding beetle infesting Leucaena leucocephala plants. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, v. 97, n. 4, p. 304-311, . (12/11612-4)
WOOD, A.; HAGA, E. B.; COSTA, V. A.; ROSSI, M. N.. Geographic distribution, large-scale spatial structure and diversity of parasitoids of the seed-feeding beetle Acanthoscelides macrophthalmus. BULLETIN OF ENTOMOLOGICAL RESEARCH, v. 107, n. 3, p. 322-331, . (12/11612-4)
DA SILVA, AMANDA V.; ROSSI, MARCELO N.. When a seed-feeding beetle is a predator and also increases the speed of seed germination: an intriguing interaction with an invasive plant. EVOLUTIONARY ECOLOGY, v. 33, n. 2, p. 211-232, . (12/11612-4)
CESAR, CASSIA S.; ROSSI, MARCELO N.. The interaction effect between intraspecific competition and seed quality on the life-history traits of the seed-feeding beetle Acanthoscelides macrophthalmus. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, v. 167, n. 12, p. 14-pg., . (12/11612-4)

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