Title

Effects of environmental variability and mate quality on reproductive success in sand field crickets

Poster Number

15C

Lead Author Major

Pre-Dentistry

Lead Author Status

Junior

Second Author Major

Pre-Pharmacy

Second Author Status

Senior

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Zachary Stahlschmidt

Faculty Mentor Email

zstahlschmidt@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Animals are driven by the desire to reproduce and, thereby, pass on genetic information. Yet, lifetime reproductive success (number of offspring) may be limited by abiotic and/or biotic factors. For example, variability in temperature, food availability, and mate quality may exert independent or interactive effects on the lifetime reproductive success and reproductive effort (e.g., amount of reproductive tissue produced and maintained) of females . To elucidate how these factors influence reproductive success, we used female sand field crickets (Gryllus firmus), which exhibit a wing dimorphism mediating a flight-fecundity trade off during early adulthood. Short-winged females invest heavily in reproductive tissue at the expense of flight capacity while long-winged females exhibit reduced investment into reproduction to maintain flight capacity. Newly molted adult G. firmus males and females were isolated and randomly assigned to either a constant (28°C) or fluctuating (28±5°C) temperature treatment. Males were given food and water ad libitum, while females had unlimited water but were assigned to one of two food treatment groups: ad libitum (high food) or intermittent access (low food). Male-female mating pairs were randomly assigned, and males were measured for traits associated with mate quality (e.g., body size, body mass, and head width) after mating. The number of fertilized eggs laid was determined twice a week for three weeks (i.e., the approximate maximum lifespan of G. firmus in the field) to calculate lifetime reproductive success. Females were then dissected to determine the number of retained (unfertilized) eggs. Preliminary results indicate that female crickets fertilized more eggs when mated with higher quality males in stable environmental conditions (constant temperature and unlimited food), but they were less choosy when experiencing fluctuating temperatures. Final results will provide insight into how food availability interacts with temperature variability to affect reproductive success and reproductive decision-making.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

28-4-2018 10:00 AM

End Date

28-4-2018 12:00 PM

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Apr 28th, 10:00 AM Apr 28th, 12:00 PM

Effects of environmental variability and mate quality on reproductive success in sand field crickets

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Animals are driven by the desire to reproduce and, thereby, pass on genetic information. Yet, lifetime reproductive success (number of offspring) may be limited by abiotic and/or biotic factors. For example, variability in temperature, food availability, and mate quality may exert independent or interactive effects on the lifetime reproductive success and reproductive effort (e.g., amount of reproductive tissue produced and maintained) of females . To elucidate how these factors influence reproductive success, we used female sand field crickets (Gryllus firmus), which exhibit a wing dimorphism mediating a flight-fecundity trade off during early adulthood. Short-winged females invest heavily in reproductive tissue at the expense of flight capacity while long-winged females exhibit reduced investment into reproduction to maintain flight capacity. Newly molted adult G. firmus males and females were isolated and randomly assigned to either a constant (28°C) or fluctuating (28±5°C) temperature treatment. Males were given food and water ad libitum, while females had unlimited water but were assigned to one of two food treatment groups: ad libitum (high food) or intermittent access (low food). Male-female mating pairs were randomly assigned, and males were measured for traits associated with mate quality (e.g., body size, body mass, and head width) after mating. The number of fertilized eggs laid was determined twice a week for three weeks (i.e., the approximate maximum lifespan of G. firmus in the field) to calculate lifetime reproductive success. Females were then dissected to determine the number of retained (unfertilized) eggs. Preliminary results indicate that female crickets fertilized more eggs when mated with higher quality males in stable environmental conditions (constant temperature and unlimited food), but they were less choosy when experiencing fluctuating temperatures. Final results will provide insight into how food availability interacts with temperature variability to affect reproductive success and reproductive decision-making.