Title

The Effects of Male Mating Calls on Flight and Reproduction

Poster Number

15A

Lead Author Major

Pre-dentistry 3+3

Lead Author Status

Sophomore

Second Author Major

Pre-dentistry 3+3

Second Author Status

Sophomore

Third Author Major

Pre-dentistry 3+3

Third Author Status

Sophomore

Format

Poster Presentation (Research Day, April 30)

Faculty Mentor Name

Zachary Stahlschmidt

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

In nature, organisms face the obstacle of adapting to environmental challenges and reproducing to pass on their genes. However, the allocation of resources towards survival often directly conflicts with reproductive success, so balancing the survival-reproductive tradeoff is critical for organisms. Auditory stimuli can contain information about the quality of an animal’s environment and, therefore, influence the decision between reproduction or survival. We used the variable field cricket (Gryllus lineaticeps) to study the role of male song in females’ investment into survival (dispersal or flight capacity) and reproduction (ovary mass). Throughout early adulthood, each female was exposed to one of two acoustic environments (60-70 decibels)—either white noise (signaling a low quality, mate-free environment) or male cricket mating calls (signaling a high-quality environment with abundant mating opportunities). Flight capacity (investment into flight muscle) and reproductive investment (dry ovary mass) were measured in females to determine whether male song promoted reproduction at the expense of flight capacity. The decision or tradeoff between flight and reproduction may be mediated by resource acquisition so females’ food consumption was also determined. Food intake was weighed at the beginning and end of early adulthood. Our results indicated that male mating calls increased body mass and reproductive investment, while reducing investment into flight/dispersal capacity in females. Song-induced differential investment was due to increased food take rather than an increased efficiency by which ingested food was converted into ovary and body mass. Finally, flight-capable females demonstrated higher sensitivity to the acoustic environment. These discoveries shed some light about how the acoustic environment may influence the evolution of flightlessness.

Location

Information Commons, William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center

Start Date

30-4-2022 1:00 PM

End Date

30-4-2022 3:00 PM

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Apr 30th, 1:00 PM Apr 30th, 3:00 PM

The Effects of Male Mating Calls on Flight and Reproduction

Information Commons, William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center

In nature, organisms face the obstacle of adapting to environmental challenges and reproducing to pass on their genes. However, the allocation of resources towards survival often directly conflicts with reproductive success, so balancing the survival-reproductive tradeoff is critical for organisms. Auditory stimuli can contain information about the quality of an animal’s environment and, therefore, influence the decision between reproduction or survival. We used the variable field cricket (Gryllus lineaticeps) to study the role of male song in females’ investment into survival (dispersal or flight capacity) and reproduction (ovary mass). Throughout early adulthood, each female was exposed to one of two acoustic environments (60-70 decibels)—either white noise (signaling a low quality, mate-free environment) or male cricket mating calls (signaling a high-quality environment with abundant mating opportunities). Flight capacity (investment into flight muscle) and reproductive investment (dry ovary mass) were measured in females to determine whether male song promoted reproduction at the expense of flight capacity. The decision or tradeoff between flight and reproduction may be mediated by resource acquisition so females’ food consumption was also determined. Food intake was weighed at the beginning and end of early adulthood. Our results indicated that male mating calls increased body mass and reproductive investment, while reducing investment into flight/dispersal capacity in females. Song-induced differential investment was due to increased food take rather than an increased efficiency by which ingested food was converted into ovary and body mass. Finally, flight-capable females demonstrated higher sensitivity to the acoustic environment. These discoveries shed some light about how the acoustic environment may influence the evolution of flightlessness.