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Phylogenetic clustering of wingbeat frequency and flight-associated morphometrics across insect orders

Tercel, M.P.T.G., Veronesi, F. and Pope, T.W. (2018) Phylogenetic clustering of wingbeat frequency and flight-associated morphometrics across insect orders. Physiological Entomology.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/phen.12240

Abstract

Wingbeat frequency in insects is an important variable in aerodynamic and energetic analyses of insect flight and often is studied on a family‐ or species‐level basis. Meta‐analyses of these studies report order‐level patterns suggesting that flight strategy is moderately well conserved phylogenetically. Studies incorporated into these meta‐analyses, however, use variable methodologies across different temperatures, which may confound results and phylogenetic patterns. In the present study, a high‐speed camera is used to measure wingbeat frequency in a wide variety of species (n = 102) under controlled conditions aiming (i) to determine the validity of previous meta‐analyses showing phylogenetic clustering of flight strategy and (ii) to identify new evolutionary patterns between wingbeat frequency, body mass, wing area, wing length and wing loading at the order level. All flight‐associated morphometrics significantly affect wingbeat frequency. Linear models show that wing area explains the most amount of variation in wingbeat frequency (r2 = 0.59, P ≤ 0.001), whereas body mass explains the least (r2 = 0.09, P ≤ 0.01). A multiple regression model incorporating both body mass and wing area is the best overall predictor of wingbeat frequency (r2 = 0.84, P ≤ 0.001). Order‐level phylogenetic patterns across relationships are consistent with previous studies. Thus, the present study provides experimental validation of previous meta‐analyses and provides new insights into phylogenetically conserved flight strategies across insect orders.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Body mass, comparative morphology, flight strategy, high-speed filming, insect evolution, wing loading
Divisions: Crop and Environment Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 15:00
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2019 05:10
URI: http://hau.collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/17263

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