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Plastic responses of survival and fertility following heat stress in pupal and adult Drosophila virilis
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  • Benjamin Walsh,
  • Steven Parratt,
  • Natasha Mannion,
  • Rhonda Snook,
  • Amanda Bretman,
  • Tom Price
Benjamin Walsh
University of Liverpool

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Steven Parratt
University of Liverpool
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Natasha Mannion
University of Liverpool
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Rhonda Snook
Unversity of Stockholm
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Amanda Bretman
University of Leeds
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Tom Price
University of Liverpool
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The impact of rising global temperatures on survival and reproduction is putting many species at risk of extinction. In particular, it has recently been shown that thermal effects on reproduction, especially limits to male fertility, can underpin species distributions in insects. However, the physiological factors influencing fertility at high temperatures are poorly understood. Key factors that affect somatic thermal tolerance such as hardening, the ability to phenotypically increase thermal tolerance after a mild heat shock, and the differential impact of temperature on different life stages, are largely unexplored for thermal fertility tolerance. Here, we examine the impact of high temperatures on male fertility in the cosmopolitan fruit fly Drosophila virilis. We first determined whether temperature stress at either the pupal or adult life-history stage impacts fertility. We then tested the capacity for heat-hardening to mitigate heat-induced sterility. We found that thermal stress reduces fertility in different ways in pupae and adults. Pupal heat stress delays sexual maturity, whereas males heated as adults can reproduce initially following heat stress, but lose the ability to produce offspring. We also found evidence that while heat-hardening in D. virilis can improve high temperature survival, there is no significant protective impact of this same hardening treatment on fertility. These results suggest that males may be unable to prevent the costs of high temperature stress on fertility through heat-hardening which limits a species' ability to quickly and effectively reduce fertility loss in the face of short-term high temperature events.
23 Sep 2021Submission Checks Completed
23 Sep 2021Assigned to Editor
23 Sep 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
19 Oct 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Oct 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
10 Nov 20211st Revision Received
11 Nov 2021Submission Checks Completed
11 Nov 2021Assigned to Editor
11 Nov 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
12 Nov 2021Editorial Decision: Accept
Dec 2021Published in Ecology and Evolution volume 11 issue 24 on pages 18238-18247. 10.1002/ece3.8418