Terminal investment, trade off, sexual signal, reproductive effort
In order to maximize fitness, individuals must partition their limited resources among competing physiological processes, creating negative statistical associations between processes known as “life-history trade-offs”. Evidence indicates that individuals tend to decrease their reproductive investment when confronted with a significant immunological challenge in order to increase investment in immune defense. This trade-off is often accompanied by a significant decrease in the sexual signal, which provides an honest signal of the male’s infection status to potential mates. However, if individual residual reproductive value is low, they may instead increase their reproductive investment to maximize reproductive success before the end of their life (a.k.a. terminal investment). Here, we investigate the potential for terminal investment in the ground cricket Allonemobius socius by inoculating males with varying dosages of an immune challenge. We predicted that both high dose and advanced male age would induce terminal investment. Furthermore, we predicted that terminally investing males would produce a dishonest signal by increasing their signaling effort. We found that upon infection We found that upon infection, young males and old males differentially alter their reproductive strategy. Young males exhibited the classic deceleration of reproductive effort. However, old males increased their calling song energetics and decreased their parental investment (nuptial gift size), suggesting that old males are dishonestly signaling their condition to the female.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Copeland, Emily, "Life History Response To Infection And The Potential For Dishonest Signals In The Ground Cricket, Allonemobius Socius" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2261.