Increased lipid accumulation but not reduced metabolism explains improved starvation tolerance in cold-acclimated arthropod predators

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Predatory arthropods are used for biological control in greenhouses, but there is increasing interest to extend their use to the outdoor environment where temperatures are typically lower. Acclimation at low temperature increases the ability of ectotherms to cope with subsequent more extreme cold, but may involve costs or benefits to other performance traits. A recent study in mesostigmatid mites (Gaeolaelaps aculeifer) showed that starvation tolerance was improved following a period of cold exposure. However, the physiological mechanisms that underlie improved starvation tolerance following cold exposure were not investigated. To examine whether cold acclimation would also improve starvation tolerance in an insect, we repeated the starvation study in another arthropod predator, the pirate bug Orius majusculus, as well as in G. aculeifer. Before tests, the two species were acclimated at 10, 15, or 20 °C for 7 (G. aculeifer) or 16 (O. majusculus) days. We then analyzed the effects of thermal exposure on body composition, consumption, and basal metabolic rate in both species. Our results confirmed that exposure to low temperature improves starvation tolerance in these arthropod predators. Body composition analyses revealed that both species had accumulated larger lipid stores during exposure to colder temperature, which at least in part can explain the larger starvation tolerance following cold exposure. In contrast, consumption and basal metabolic rate were not changed by thermal acclimation. Our study indicates that predatory arthropods exposed to cold increase their physiological robustness and ability to endure environmental challenges, including low temperature and low prey availability.

Bidragets oversatte titelØget fedt-akkumulering men ikke reduceret stofskifte forklarer forbedret sult-tolerance hos kulde-akklimerede rov-arthropoder
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer65
TidsskriftNaturwissenschaften
Vol/bind105
Nummer11-12
Antal sider9
ISSN0028-1042
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 19 nov. 2018

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