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Data from: Modification of reproductive schedule in response to pathogen exposure in a wild insect: support for the terminal investment hypothesis

Citation

Cory, Jenny; Zurowski, Kari; Janmaat, Alida; Kabaluk, Todd (2020), Data from: Modification of reproductive schedule in response to pathogen exposure in a wild insect: support for the terminal investment hypothesis, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.z08kprr9p

Abstract

Trade-offs in the time and energy allocated to different functions, such as reproductive activities, can be driven by alterations in condition which reduce resources, often in response to extrinsic factors such as pathogens or parasites. When individuals are challenged by a pathogen they may either reduce reproduction as a cost of increasing defence mechanisms, or alternatively, modify reproductive activities so as to increase fecundity thereby minimizing the fitness costs of earlier death, a behaviour consistent with the terminal investment hypothesis (TIH). The TIH predicts that individuals with decreased likelihood of future reproduction will maximize current reproductive effort, which may include shifts in reproductive timing. We examined how wild, adult female click beetles (Agriotes obscurus) responded after exposure to the fungal pathogenMetarhizium brunneum. Field-collected beetles exposed to a high concentration of M. brunneum died earlier and in greater numbers than those exposed to a low concentration. Using a multi-variate approach we examined the impact of pathogen challenge on lifespan and a suite of reproductive traits. Stepdown regression analysis showed that only female lifespan differed among the fungal treatments. Fungal-induced reductions in lifespan drove changes in the reproductive schedule, characterized by a decrease in preoviposition period. Moving the start of egg laying forward allowed the females to offset the costs of a shortened lifespan. These changes suggest that there is a threshold for terminal investment which is dependent on strength of the survival threat. From an applied perspective, our findings imply that exposing adult click beetles to M. brunneum to reduce their population densitymight not succeed and is an approach that needs further investigation.

Methods

Exposure of field-collected beetles to a fungal pathogen in a controlled laboratory experiment with frequent monitoring until death. 

Transformed where necessary and analysed using generalized linear models, MANOVA amd step down analysis.

Usage Notes

All values used in the data analsys in the manuscript are provided and the headings should be self-explanatory. 

Met=fungal treatment/death; U = Not killed by fungus. Time are in days. Lengths are in microns.

Funding

Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Growing Forward II

Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, Growing Forward II