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Environmental influences on the gametic investment of yellow dung fly males


Hellriegel, B; Blanckenhorn, W U (2002). Environmental influences on the gametic investment of yellow dung fly males. Evolutionary Ecology, 16(5):505-522.

Abstract

The energetic investment per spermatozoon and in spermatogenesis is central to a male's reproductive strategy. Relatively little, however, is known about environmental influences on variation in male allocation decisions and associated trade-offs. Plasticity in sperm length and testis size in response to variable food and temperature conditions either before or after adult eclosion was investigated in Scathophaga stercoraria, a classic model organism for sperm competition. Both measures showed interesting and clear environmental effects and also a heritable component. Testis length, and thus presumably sperm production, showed a hypoallometric (b < 1), but non-linear increase with body size, indicating that the allometric relationship changed with size. Like body size, testis length decreased with increasing developmental temperatures, but also showed a complex cubic relationship with adult temperatures. In contrast, sperm length increased or showed a negative quadratic relationship with increasing temperatures. The increase of within-male variation in sperm length with increasing developmental temperature and decreasing adult food indicates that some of our treatments were stressful. Nevertheless, there was no evidence of a trade-off between testis size and sperm length. The missing effect of adult or larval food availability on testis and sperm length, despite strong effects of larval food on body size, suggests that investment into reproduction is less sensitive to food restriction than investment into growth

Abstract

The energetic investment per spermatozoon and in spermatogenesis is central to a male's reproductive strategy. Relatively little, however, is known about environmental influences on variation in male allocation decisions and associated trade-offs. Plasticity in sperm length and testis size in response to variable food and temperature conditions either before or after adult eclosion was investigated in Scathophaga stercoraria, a classic model organism for sperm competition. Both measures showed interesting and clear environmental effects and also a heritable component. Testis length, and thus presumably sperm production, showed a hypoallometric (b < 1), but non-linear increase with body size, indicating that the allometric relationship changed with size. Like body size, testis length decreased with increasing developmental temperatures, but also showed a complex cubic relationship with adult temperatures. In contrast, sperm length increased or showed a negative quadratic relationship with increasing temperatures. The increase of within-male variation in sperm length with increasing developmental temperature and decreasing adult food indicates that some of our treatments were stressful. Nevertheless, there was no evidence of a trade-off between testis size and sperm length. The missing effect of adult or larval food availability on testis and sperm length, despite strong effects of larval food on body size, suggests that investment into reproduction is less sensitive to food restriction than investment into growth

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Language:English
Date:1 September 2002
Deposited On:09 Oct 2018 12:40
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 02:38
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0269-7653
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1020875021823
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencespringer101023A1020875021823 (Library Catalogue)

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