Anthropogenic global warming and attendant effects like heatwaves affect the biology and ecology of both individuals and species within and across different trophic levels. Here, we examined the effects of a simulated heatwave on development of and competition between two hyperparasitoid wasps, Lysibia nana and Acrolyta nens when attacking the same host, cocoons of the primary parasitoid, Cotesia glomerata. Parasitized hosts were exposed to three different day and night temperature regimes (low, medium and high) that reflect cool, normal and heatwave conditions in the Netherlands. We found that higher temperatures decreased survival to eclosion more strongly in the hyperparasitoids than in their host. Heatwave conditions also shortened development time and led to the production of smaller adult wasps of both hyperparasitoid species in singly parasitized hosts. In multiparasitized hosts, L. nana won most of the contests when it oviposited first, irrespective of the time interval between the first and second parasitism, whereas A. nens only dominated when it had a 24 h head start or longer. Most importantly, our results show that L. nana in particular benefited in competition at higher temperatures, perhaps due to an increase in the metabolic rate and more rapid egg and/or larval development. This may potentially reduce opportunities for coexistence following heat waves. Our results suggest that heatwaves associated with global warming will enhance the rate of development, but negatively affect survival and other fitness‐related traits in (hyper)parasitoids. Moreover, the outcome of larval competition may be determined via physiological responses that are species‐specific and thus influence phenology.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.