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J Theor Biol. 2008 Mar 21;251(2):317-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.12.002. Epub 2007 Dec 14.

Prolonged diapause: a trait increasing invasion speed?

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Laboratoire de Recherche Valorisation des Actions de l'omme pour la Protection de l'nvironnement et Application en santé Publique, Université Abou-Bekr Belkaïd, Tlemcen, BP 119 Imama, Tlemcen, Algeria.


Invasive species are considered to be the second cause of biodiversity erosion, and one challenge is to determine the life history traits that cause an increased invasion capacity. Prolonged diapause is a major trait in evolution and insect population dynamics, but its effects on invasion speed remain unknown. From a recently developed mathematical approach (integro-difference equations) applied to the insect dormancy, we show that despite a dispersal cost, bet-hedging diapause strategies with low (0.1-0.2) prolonged diapause frequency (emergence after 1 or 2 years) can have a higher invasion speed than a simple diapause strategy (emergence after 1 year) when the environmental stochasticity is sufficiently high. In such conditions, prolonged diapause is a trait supporting invasion capacity by increasing population stochastic growth rate. This conclusion, which applies to a large range of demographic parameters, is in opposition to the usual view that prolonged dormancy is an alternative strategy to dispersal. However, prolonged diapause does not support invasion if the level of environmental stochasticity is low. Therefore, conclusion about its influence on invasion ability needs a good knowledge of environmental stochasticity in the introduction area of considered species.

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