Contest Competition in Drosophila subobscura
Jones TH., Langefors A., Bonsall MB., Hassell MP.
The role of larval intraspecific competition in laboratory populations of Drosophila subobscura was investigated. Mortality is density-independent during the first 3 days after hatching but becomes density dependent as development proceeds to pupation. Although total biomass per patch was independent of initial egg density, competition between Drosophila larvae leads to the formation of smaller pupae. This resulted in a population that was dominated by suppressed individuals. Development rate of D. subobscura larvae was not affected by high larval densities. Smaller pupae give rise to females with fewer eggs in their ovarioles. A simple simulation model, predicting the effects of intraspecific competition on the fecundity of the next Drosophila generation is described.