Effects of cadmium ingestion on reproduction and maternal egg care in the European earwig - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Animal Behaviour Year : 2023

Effects of cadmium ingestion on reproduction and maternal egg care in the European earwig

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Abstract

A growing number of studies show that anthropization can alter the behavior, survival, physiology, cognition, and reproduction of many animal species. However, its impact on parental care, a common behavior where even subtle changes can have dramatic effects on the viability of future generations and thereby jeopardise population dynamics, remains surprisingly unclear. Here, we studied the effects of exposure to cadmium, a highly toxic chemical pollutant widely distributed in the trophic chain, on egg production and maternal egg care in the European earwig. We fed 200 females with food containing cadmium at five different concentrations for several weeks, and then quantified the number of eggs produced, the expression of six forms of egg care and three forms of non-care behaviors, as well as maternal survival and egg development. In contrast to most results reported in other animal species, we found no evidence that ingestion of even substantial doses of cadmium affects egg production and maternal egg care in the form of grooming, antennation, displacement, gathering, defense or retrieval. Moreover, it neither affected maternal exploration, inactivity and self-grooming behaviors, nor egg development time, hatching rate or juvenile weight. Overall, these results reveal that egg care is resilient to environmental cadmium pollution in earwigs, and suggest that females possess efficient and fast-acting physiological processes that help them reduce their sensitivity to heavy metal contamination. More generally, our findings may suggest that selection pressures associated with the necessity to express egg care has directly or indirectly selected for higher resistance/tolerance against certain chemical pollutions, and thus that species with parental care could be more resilient in the face of increasing levels of anthropogenic pollution.
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Dates and versions

hal-03853584 , version 1 (15-11-2022)

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Romain Honorio, Pauline Depierrefixe, Séverine Devers, maryse rouelle, Joël Meunier, et al.. Effects of cadmium ingestion on reproduction and maternal egg care in the European earwig. Animal Behaviour, 2023, ⟨10.1016/j.anbehav.2022.10.008⟩. ⟨hal-03853584⟩
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