The aim of the current study was to analyze the direction and range of changes in wing size and shape in both sexes of Drosophila subobscura (Collin, 1936) flies that originated from two natural populations with different evolutionary history (sampled from ecologically distinct habitats) maintained during seven generations in laboratory conditions on different lead (Pb) concentrations. The results showed significant wing size variability differences across seven generations of rearing on lead for both populations. Wing size is negatively correlated with lead level, in contrast with wing shape in which significant variation was observed in just one of the populations. According to our results, wing size seems to be more affected by lead pollution in both tested populations compared with wing shape. Our data suggest that presence of lead in higher concentration over extended period of time may reduce the stability of wing morphology and consequently reduce the fitness of exposed individuals. Therefore, specific stress that persists over multiple generations could increase the probabilities for extinction of populations composed of sensitive individuals.
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Vol. 41 • No. 4