Macquarie University
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Functional significance of ecological factors during larval development

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posted on 2022-03-28, 02:02 authored by The Anh Than
Ecological conditions during early development modulate survival and reproduction in adulthood, and can therefore have long - lasting fitness implications. Despite this, little is known about how ecological factors interact to shape the developmental environment and expression of life - history traits in adulthood. In this thesis, I investigated how two key ecological factors, population density and larval diet shape the development and life - history traits of the tephritid fruit fly Bactrocera tryoni. I generated five larval densities in three larval diets with different yeast - to - sugar ratios to test how these factors interact to shape the expression of life - history traits. I found that there was a significant interaction between larval density and larval diet on pupal weight, adult weight, emergence and body lipid reserves. Low larval density and protein - rich diet led to an increase in body weight, percentage of emergence and fecundity. Interestingly, an increase in larval density led to a decrease in the percentage of lipid reserves when flies were reared in the protein - rich and standard diets, whereas it induced an increase in lipid storage in the sugar - rich diet. High larval density and protein - rich diet shortened developmental time. There was no significant effect of larval density, diet, or their interaction on the sex ratio.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Materials and methods -- 3. Results -- 4. Discussion.


Bibliography: pages 36-42 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Biological Sciences

Department, Centre or School

Department of Biological Sciences

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Fleur Ponton

Additional Supervisor 1

Juliano Morimoto


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