Fluctuating heat stress during development exposes reproductive costs and putative benefits

  • Articles in SCI Journals
  • Feb, 2022

Rodrigues, L.R., McDermott, H.A., Villanueva, I., Djukarić, J., Ruf, L.C., Amcoff, M. & Snook, R.R. (2022) Fluctuating heat stress during development exposes reproductive costs and putative benefits.

Journal of Animal Ecology, 91(2), 391-403. DOI:10.1111/1365-2656.13636 (IF2020 5,091; Q1 Ecology) NON-cE3c affiliated
Summary:

Temperature and thermal variability are increasing worldwide, with well-known survival consequences. However, effects on other potentially more thermally sensitive reproductive traits are less understood, especially when considering thermal variation. Studying the consequences of male reproduction in the context of climate warming and ability to adapt is becoming increasingly relevant. Our goals were to test how exposure to different average temperatures that either fluctuated or remained constant impacts different male reproductive performance traits and to assess adaptive potential to future heat stress. We took advantage of a set of Drosophila melanogaster isogenic lines of different genotypes, exposing them to four different thermal conditions. These conditions represented a benign and a stressful mean temperature, applied either constantly or fluctuating around the mean and experienced during development when heat stress avoidance is hindered because of restricted mobility. We measured subsequent male reproductive performance for mating success, fertility, number of offspring produced and offspring sex ratio, and calculated the influence of thermal stress on estimated heritability and evolvability of these reproductive traits. Both costs and benefits to different thermal conditions on reproductive performance were found, with some responses varying between genotypes. Mating success improved under fluctuating benign temperature conditions and declined as temperature stress increased regardless of genotype. Fertility and productivity were severely reduced at fluctuating mean high temperature for all genotypes, but some genotypes were unaffected at constant high mean temperature. These more thermally robust genotypes showed a slight increase in productivity under the fluctuating benign condition compared to constant high temperature, despite both thermal conditions sharing the same temperature for 6 hr daily. Increasing thermal stress resulted in higher heritability and evolvability. Overall, the effects of temperature on reproductive performance depended on the trait and genotype; performance of some traits slightly increased when high temperatures were experienced for short periods but decreased substantially even when experiencing a benign temperature for a portion of each day. While thermal stress increased genetic variation that could provide adaptive potential against climate warming, this is unlikely to compensate for the overall severe negative effect on reproductive performance as mean temperature and variance increase.


Fluctuating heat stress during development exposes reproductive costs and putative benefits

Team

  • Fluctuating heat stress during development exposes reproductive costs and putative benefits Leonor R. Rodrigues Evolutionary Ecology - EE