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Thermal change alters the outcome of behavioural interactions between antagonistic partners

Abstract : 1. Concerns about climate change often trigger the question whether physiological and behavioural responses of species will enable them to persist. However, species do not exist alone and are largely dependent on interactions with others within communities. 2. In the present study, a mechanistic approach is used to test the hypothesis that inter-specific differences in metabolic response to unpredictable short-term thermal changes can change the outcome of host–parasitoid behavioural interactions. 3. The effect of a drop or a rise of 5 ∘C on resting metabolic rates (RMR) of the main aphid pest of cereal crops in Western Europe, the host Sitobion avenae Fabricius and its main natural enemy, the parasitoid Aphidius rhopalosiphi De Stefani-Perez was measured. Also, defence and attack behaviours were measured for host and parasitoid separately as well as in interaction, since behavioural strategies of both species largely determine parasitism success. 4. The results showed that, when no change in temperature occurred, parasitoids had the highest oviposition rate. However, only with a rise of temperature behavioural interactions were disrupted: the parasitoid attack rate decreased whereas the aphid defence rate increased. This alteration in behaviour was associated with a stronger thermal response of RMR in hosts than in parasitoids, suggesting that species-specific thermal responses of RMR could give valuable information on changes in the outcome of species interactions under warm spells but not under cold ones. 5. It was shown that relatively modest thermal changes with non-lethal effects can have profound consequences for interacting co-evolved species which may affect ecosystem services, such as biological control of pest populations.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 1:55:01 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 4, 2020 - 11:46:02 AM

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Cécile Le Lann, Monica Lodi, Jacintha Ellers. Thermal change alters the outcome of behavioural interactions between antagonistic partners. Ecological Entomology, Wiley, 2014, 39 (5), pp.578-588. ⟨10.1111/een.12135⟩. ⟨hal-01096890⟩

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