Long-term dynamics of the numbers of complete (normal) veins, venation anomalies, and linear wing parameters were analyzed in male Calopteryx splendens Harr. damselflies from neighboring population groups. Correlation analysis showed that some anomalies may appear additionally to complete veins, whereas other anomalies are formed instead of them. The damselflies from the generations of even years proved to have significantly greater numbers of anomalies. A probable cause of this phenomenon was a sharp increase in the background radiation level in the summer of 1986, after the Chernobyl accident, which could lead to serious hereditary disturbances manifested in a series of generations. The results of the study show that the formation of wing venation anomalies in damselflies is a stochastic process, which is enhanced under the effect of both environmental and genetic stress. These anomalies may be regarded as markers characterizing the degree of stability of ontogenetic processes in the population, which essentially reflect specific genotypic traits of individual organisms. Analysis of wing venation anomalies appears to be a more precise instrument for assessing developmental stability than estimation of the levels of fluctuating asymmetry and general phenotypic variance.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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