Negative effects of fluctuating temperatures around the optimal temperature on reproduction and survival of the red flour beetle

Inon Scharf, Daniella Segal, Adi Bar, Daphna Gottlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Whereas the vast majority of animals in nature experience daily or seasonal thermal fluctuations, most laboratory experiments use constant temperatures. We examined the effect of fluctuating temperatures on reproduction and survival under starvation, two important components of fitness. We used the red flour beetle as a model organism, which is a significant pest in grain mills around the world. Fluctuations around the optimal temperature were always negative for the adult survival under starvation. The effect of thermal fluctuations on the number of offspring reaching adulthood was negative as well but increased with the extent of exposure. It was the strongest when the adult parents were kept and the offspring were raised under fluctuating temperatures. However, the later the offspring were exposed to fluctuations during their development, the weaker the effect of fluctuating temperatures was. Moreover, raising the parents under fluctuating temperatures but keeping them after pupation at constant temperatures fully alleviated the negative effects of fluctuations on the offspring. Finally, we demonstrate that keeping the parents a few days under fluctuating temperatures is required to induce negative effects on the number of offspring reaching adulthood. Our study disentangles between the effects of thermal fluctuations experienced during the parental and offspring stage thus contributing to the ongoing research of insects under fluctuating temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103165
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Volume103
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Maternal effects
  • Starvation tolerance
  • Storage pests
  • Thermal ecology
  • Tribolium castaneum

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