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Benefits of dispersal in patchy environments: mate location by males of a wing-dimorphic insect

Benefits of dispersal in patchy environments: mate location by males of a wing-dimorphic insect

Ecology 82(7): 1870-1878

The effect of variation in habitat heterogeneity and female density on the mate-location ability and, hence, reproductive success of males of the wing-dimorphic planthopper Prokelisia dolus was investigated. Unmated female planthoppers were placed at different densities in sparse and contiguous vegetation, and the ability of flight-capable and flightless males to locate stationary mates was monitored. Whereas flight-capable males located females and acquired matings more often in sparse vegetation, flightless males found females more frequently in contiguous vegetation. Furthermore, whereas flight-capable males found females more effectively at low female densities, flightless males located them more efficiently at high densities. Thus, habitat heterogeneity operates in concert with the known reproductive penalties due to flight capability to favor the persistence of dispersal polymorphism in males of this species.

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Accession: 003658533

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DOI: 10.2307/2680053

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