Phenotypic Plasticity in Morphological Characters of Cinara (Schizolachnus Mordvilko) (Aphididae: Lachninae) Species Collected From Different Localities in Turkey
This study was performed in order to determine the effects of altitude and temperature on phenotypic plasticity in some morphological characters and character ratios of the monoecious species of the aphid Cinara (Schizolachnus Mordvilko) feeding on Pinus L. needles. Cinara (Schizolachnus) specimens were sampled from 242 different populations determined in Kütahya, Afyonkarahisar and Uşak in Inner Western Anatolia. Eleven morphological characters of 1 to 3 individuals were measured for each population to avoid clonal influences and the measurements were analyzed statistically to reveal any differences between mean values of the populations. Our results showed that, although
the three sampling area were geographically close to each other, they significantly influenced some of the morphological characters of Cinara (Schizolachnus) species indicating presence of phenotypic plasticity. Multivariate analyses showed that Afyonkarahisar had a higher influence on the existing phenotypic plasticity, most probably due to its higher altitude and lower temperature than other two provinces. The effects of sampling area on taxonomically distinguishing characters such as ultimate rostral segment IV length (URS IV) and V (URS V) and hind tibia length (HT L) were found to be particularly significant. Aphid species like the members of Cinara (Schizolachnus) feed only on one type of host plant without host alternating and therefore the characteristics of sampling locality rather than host plant play a crucial role in diversity.
Our results emphasized that the existing phenotypic plasticity as a result of selection pressures on the morphological characters based on altitude and temperature conditions of the sampling localities might play important roles in host utilization process of Cinara (Schizolachnus) populations in a long term period as they have a monoecious heteroecious life cycle.