Shielding the oxidative cost of reproduction

Vincent A Viblanc, Quentin Schull, Jeffrey D Roth, Juliette Rabdeau, Claire Saraux, Pierre Uhlrich, François Criscuolo and F Stephen Dobson Animals present a great diversity of strategies in the way they allocate the energy acquired from their environment towards growth, reproduction and survival. One particularly well-studied aspect of animal lives is how they regulate the…

Scale dependence in isotopic niche width

Carl J. Reddin, John H. Bothwell, Nessa E. O’Connor, Chris Harrod Sampling ecological traits of a population of individual animals is tricky. For example, do ten individuals that live close to each other eat a more similar diet than ten individuals that live far apart? And how much do those ten individuals represent the true…

Do sperm like it hot? No, but maybe yes…

Clelia Gasparini, ChuChu Lu, Niels J. Dingemanse, Cristina Tuni Whether a population or a species thrives or goes extinct is likely to be a matter of survival and reproduction. Reproduction is a fundamental aspect of any organism’s biology and determines the success of a population – and ultimately of the species – over generations. Organisms…

How ants acclimate: ant species adjust their cuticular hydrocarbon composition in respect to temperature and humidity conditions

Florian Menzel, Miriam Zumbusch and Barbara Feldmeyer Starting from developmental process as an embryo, the life of an ectothermic (cold-blooded) organism is determined by ambient temperature. For example development rate, body size, activity patterns, etc., all depend on temperature in ectotherms. An insect’s cuticle – its exoskeleton – is covered in cuticular hydrocarbons, which protect…

When water is running out, mothers optimise their reproduction at the expense of offspring survival

Andréaz Dupoué, Jean-François Le Galliard, Rémy Josserand, Dale F. DeNardo, Béatriz Decencière, Simon Agostini, Claudy Haussy, Sandrine Meylan The relationships between a parent and its offspring involve conflict in almost all organisms. In nature, parent-offspring conflicts can occur whenever resources become depleted. Conflicts are usually examined after birth of offspring, but gestation also represents a…

The larger sex shows increased body size plasticity

Patrick T. Rohner, Tiit Teder, Toomas Esperk, Stefan Lüpold and Wolf U. Blanckenhorn Being large can boost an individual’s reproductive success if larger body size increases strength in competition for mates, attractiveness to potential mates, or defense against predators and parasites. Animals should thus attain the largest size possible. In insects, however, the hard outer…