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The Impact of Environmental Factors on the Efficacy of Chemical Communication in the Burying Beetle (Coleoptera: Silphidae)

Title data

Chemnitz, Johanna ; von Hoermann, Christian ; Ayasse, Manfred ; Steiger, Sandra:
The Impact of Environmental Factors on the Efficacy of Chemical Communication in the Burying Beetle (Coleoptera: Silphidae).
In: Journal of Insect Science. Vol. 20 (2020) Issue 4 .
ISSN 1536-2442
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieaa061

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project title:
Project's official titleProject's id
Priority Program 1374 “Infrastructure-Biodiversity-Exploratories”No information
Open Access PublizierenNo information

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

There is growing evidence that a wide range of insect sex pheromones are condition dependent and play a
fundamental role in mate choice. However, the effectiveness of pheromonal communication might not only depend
on internal factors of the sender, but also on attributes of the microhabitat, in which the signaler chooses to emit
its chemical signal. For example, the degree of anthropogenic land use might affect how successful the signal is
transmitted, as land use has been shown to affect animal communities and the complexity of biotic interactions.
To test the hypothesis that parameters of the microenvironment determine males’ ability to attract females via
their sex pheromone, we used the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides Herbst (Coleoptera: Silphidae) as our
model system. We exposed 144 males across differently managed forest stands and analyzed the impact of 29
environmental parameters. Our data revealed that human land use intensity had no effect on a male’s attractiveness.
However, the harvested tree biomass positively affected the proportion of competitors attracted. Furthermore, we
found that soil characteristics were important factors determining the amount and body size of females a male was
able to attract. Consequently, we present evidence that the environmental context of a signaling male influences the
effectiveness of chemical signaling either because it affects the transmission process or the prevailing abundance
of potential signal receivers. Thus, our results demonstrate that males need to make careful decisions about the
location where they emit their pheromone, as this choice of microhabitat has an impact on their fitness.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: sex pheromone; mate choice; forest management; signal efficacy; land-use intensity
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 500 Natural sciences
Date Deposited: 22 May 2021 21:00
Last Modified: 25 May 2021 06:51
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/65318