Maternal exposure to predator scents: offspring phenotypic adjustment and dispersal

Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Elvire BestionJulien Cote

Abstract

Predation is a strong selective pressure generating morphological, physiological and behavioural responses in organisms. As predation risk is often higher during juvenile stages, antipredator defences expressed early in life are paramount to survival. Maternal effects are an efficient pathway to produce such defences. We investigated whether maternal exposure to predator cues during gestation affected juvenile morphology, behaviour and dispersal in common lizards (Zootoca vivipara). We exposed 21 gravid females to saurophagous snake cues for one month while 21 females remained unexposed (i.e. control). We measured body size, preferred temperature and activity level for each neonate, and released them into semi-natural enclosures connected to corridors in order to measure dispersal. Offspring from exposed mothers grew longer tails, selected lower temperatures and dispersed thrice more than offspring from unexposed mothers. Because both tail autotomy and altered thermoregulatory behaviour are common antipredator tactics in lizards, these results suggest that mothers adjusted offspring phenotype to risky natal environments (tail length) or increased risk avoidance (dispersal). Although maternal effects can be passive consequences ...Continue Reading

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Citations

Oct 16, 2014·Oecologia·Michael J Sheriff, Jennifer S Thaler
Sep 26, 2015·Ecology·Sarah C Donelan, Geoffrey C Trussell
Aug 8, 2015·The Journal of Animal Ecology·Michael J Sheriff
May 7, 2016·Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society·Julien CoteA J Mark Hewison
Sep 29, 2017·Integrative and Comparative Biology·Michael J SheriffOliver P Love
Feb 28, 2018·Journal of Evolutionary Biology·Zoltán Tóth, Attila Hettyey
Feb 17, 2018·Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology·M Rohaa Langenhof, Jan Komdeur
Aug 5, 2017·Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society·Marjo SaastamoinenMaria Del Mar Delgado
Apr 23, 2017·Experimental & Applied Acarology·Keiko Oku, Tom P G van den Beuken
Mar 5, 2020·Ecology and Evolution·Stefano MonteforteAlessandro Grapputo
Jul 1, 2020·PeerJ·Jennifer A Atherton, Mark I McCormick
Nov 17, 2020·The Journal of Animal Ecology·Jennifer K HellmannAlison M Bell
Mar 4, 2021·Current Zoology·Bram Vanden BroeckeHerwig Leirs

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