Journal of evolutionary biology vol:16 issue:5 pages:986-995
We investigated four predictions about how temperature, photoperiod and sex affect the life history plasticity and foraging activity of a damselfly. (i) As predicted, increased temperatures increased foraging activity and growth rates, but in contrast with the prediction, late photoperiod (high time stress) did not affect foraging activity and growth rate. (ii) Unexpectedly, the increase in growth rate at increasing temperatures was not larger under high time stress. (iii) As predicted, age and size at emergence decreased at higher temperatures and at the late photoperiod. Temperature-induced life history shifts were direct or the result of behavioural growth mediation depending on the temperature range. Photoperiod-induced life history shifts were direct. (iv) As predicted, males emerged before females but at a smaller size. The degree of sexual size dimorphism was influenced by the joint effects of temperature and photoperiod. We could only detect genetic variation in size plasticity to photoperiod. The match between the sex-specific life history responses to temperature and photoperiod and predictions by relevant optimality models suggests adaptive life history plasticity to these variables.