Journal Article Synchronous and Non-Synchronous Semelparity in Sibling Species of Pulmonates

Nyumura, Nobuhiro  ,  Asami, Takahiro

32 ( 4 )  , pp.372 - 377 , 2015-08 , ZOOLOGICAL SOC JAPAN
Diverse life histories have been documented in terrestrial pulmonates, which inhabit different regions in climate. Life history traits are often phenotypically plastic and vary depending on the environment. Thus, surveys using designs that control for the confounding effects of environment are needed to evaluate the evolutionary differences between populations of closely related species in the wild. We examined the life histories of sibling species of terrestrial pulmonate within two regions of similar climates. Bradybaena pellucida (BP) is endemic to Japanese islands, and has recently been expanding its distribution northeastward, whereas B. similaris (BS) has been introduced by humans into temperate and tropical regions worldwide. We found that these species exhibit discrete differences in population dynamics and life cycle, despite their close relatedness. The annual life cycle of BP is synchronized among individuals in a population. Thus, BP is univoltine with discontinuous generation. In contrast, BS individuals do not synchronize their growth or reproduction, and thus exhibit overlapping generations. Our results indicate that synchronized and non-synchronized population dynamics diverge relatively rapidly in semelparous pulmonates. This type of difference has not been documented in pulmonate life history, and may have been overlooked because only a few studies have explicitly compared life cycles of closely related species within the same climate. Our results provide a basis for further studies of life history evolution in pulmonates.

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