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Intra- and intergenotypic competition in Drosophila melanogaster: effects of density on larval survival and rate of development


We have examined the effects of density and frequency in the larval competition of Drosophila melanogaster by measuring three fitness components: viability (V), mean development time (MDT) and a combination of these two (E). We have detected (contrary to most published results) non-linear effects of density in single-genotype cultures; in addition, different functions are required to describe the density effects below and above the optimal density. Frequency has also non-linear effects in the two-genotype cultures. Only one polymorphic equilibrium frequency, which is stable, occurs with respect to V; but two polymorphic equilibria, one stable and one unstable, exist with respect to E. The responses in single-genotype cultures do not allow one to predict the outcome of the competition in two-genotype cultures. © 1986 Dr W. Junk Publishers.

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