Effects of exposure to short-term heat stress on male reproductive fitness in a soil arthropod.

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    Ambient temperature is a key environmental factor influencing a variety of aspects of the ecology and evolution of ectotherms. Reproductive traits have been suggested to be more sensitive to thermal stress than other life history traits. This study investigated the direct and indirect effects of heat shock on male reproductive success in the widespread springtail Orchesella cincta. Male springtails were exposed to four temperature treatments: heat hardening (35.2. °C for 1 h), heat shock (37.2. °C for 1 h), heat hardening. +. heat shock (35.2. °C for 1 h, followed 15 h later by 37.2. °C for 1 h), and control (20. °C). The heat shock gene Hsp70 showed high expression in all the heat treatments, indicating that the treatments indeed induced thermal stress. Significant mortality was only found in the treatment with heat shock, both with and without heat hardening. A direct effect of heat treatment was found on time to first reproduction, which was significantly longer after heat shock (with or without heat hardening) than in the control treatment. There was no difference among treatments in the number of spermatophores produced in the first reproductive instar. Heat treatment also had indirect effects on male reproductive success. Females chose significantly more spermatophores from control males than from males that received heat shock, heat hardening or both. A high percentage of spermatophores produced by heat shocked males caused reproductive failure in females, but no significant differences among treatments were found.Our results suggest that not all traits were equally affected by the heat stress. Heat hardening did not protect reproductive traits against the negative effects of heat shock. The indirect effects of heat shock on reproduction may be equally important as the direct effects. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)421-426
    JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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