Ecological differentiation, microbial community, mosaic evolution
The spotted bird grasshopper, Schistocerca lineata Scudder (Orthoptera: Acrididae), is a widely distributed species found throughout most of the continental United States and southern Canada. This species is known to be highly variable in morphology, with many distinct ecotypes across its native range. These ecotypes display high levels of association with type-specific host plants. Understanding the evolutionary relationships among different ecotypes is crucial groundwork for studying the process of ecological differentiation. I examine four ecotypes from morphological and phylogeographic perspectives, and look for evidence of distinct evolutionary lineages within the species. I also begin to explore the potential role of the microbial community of these grasshoppers in ecological divergence by using 454 pyrosequencing to see if the microbial community structure reflects the ecology of the grasshoppers. I find support for a distinct aposematic lineage when approaching the data from a phylogeographic perspective and also find that this ecotype tends to harbor a unique bacterial community, different from that of a single other ecotype.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Raszick, Tyler, "Character Evolution and Microbial Community Structure in a Host-associated Grasshopper" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4573.
Restricted to the UCF community until November 2014; it will then be open access.