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Genetic variation in light vision and light-dependent movement behaviour in the eyeless Collembola Folsomia candida

Abstract : Animals can cope with spatiotemporal variation in their environment through mobility and selective habitat choice. Intra-specific variation in habitat choice has been documented especially for host plant preferences and cryptic habitat selection in insects. Here, we investigated the genetic variation in light sensitivity and light-dependent habitat choice in the eyeless Collembola Folsomia candida with a choice test under four different lighting conditions (control dark condition, two simulations of undergrowth natural light conditions and red light). We tested twelve clonal strains from diverse geographical origins that are clustered in two evolutionary clades with contrasting fast or slow life-history strategies. The clones differed in their mean movement probabilities in the dark treatment. These differences were related to the two different phylogenetic clades, where fast-life history clones are on average more mobile than slow-life history counterparts as predicted by the ‘colonizer syndrome’ hypothesis. We found behavioural avoidance of light in the three light conditions. Moreover, photophobia was stronger when the simulated light spectrum was brighter and included non-red light. Photophobia was similar among all clonal lineages and between the two clades, which suggests that this behaviour is a shared behavioural trait in this species. We discuss the use of light as an environmental cue for orientation, displacement and habitat choice under natural conditions.
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Marta Gallardo Ruiz, Jean-François Le Galliard, Thomas Tully. Genetic variation in light vision and light-dependent movement behaviour in the eyeless Collembola Folsomia candida. Pedobiologia, Elsevier, 2017, 61, pp.33 - 41. ⟨10.1016/j.pedobi.2016.12.001⟩. ⟨hal-01467342⟩

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