Clark et al. evaluated theoretical predictions for evolution of reproductive life-history and dispersal traits in the range expansion of the tamarisk biological control agent, Diorhabda carinulata, or northern tamarisk beetle. With experiments run on field-collected populations, they found that females at the expansion front had increased fecundity and body mass, and reduced age at first reproduction; and that dispersal increased at the expansion front in males, especially when unmated and reared at low density. An increase in both reproductive output and dispersal ability in some contexts at the edge and low genetic load may enable an accelerating expansion front and will likely contribute to the establishment and persistence of the northern tamarisk beetle.
Clark, E. I., Bitume, E. V., Bean, D. W., Stahlke, A. R., Hohenlohe, P. A., & Hufbauer, R. A. 2022. Evolutionary Applications, 00, 1– 11. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.13502