The effect of temperature on male mating signals and female choice in the red mason bee, Osmia bicornis (L.)
- Ecology and Evolution 期刊
- Climate change and the resulting changes in air temperature are known to have a major influence on most animals, especially poikilothermic insects, because they depend on the high enough temperatures to function. Previous studies have shown that various signals can be affected by changes in temperature. However, research into the effect of temperature on mating signals and subsequently communication between mates and on female choice is still rare. In the red mason bee, Osmia bicornis, which emerges early in spring and is therefore subject to extensive temperature changes, females choose suitable males based on, among other criteria, their thorax vibrations and odor. So far there has been no research into the effect of temperature changes on these signals. We therefore investigated whether the environmental temperature has an influence on the male’s mating signals by measuring vibrations using a laser vibrometer and collecting male and female odor at different temperatures. Furthermore, we performed behavioral experiments in order to show whether there is an effect of temperature-induced changes and female choice. Our results showed that rejected males differed in their vibrations between the two temperature settings but accepted ones did not. Temperature changes therefore seem to have a stronger effect on those males that are rejected by the females, whereas the accepted males are the ones that can produce desirable signals despite temperature fluctuations. Furthermore, we found that the differences in odor profiles were greater between temperature settings than between the sexes and that females change their preference for odor with temperature. We conclude that temperature strongly influences the male mating signals and therefore may have a major impact on sexual selection in this species. This is an important aspect to consider, not only in future studies on mating behavior, but also in view of our ever raising temperatures.