Signalling and phosphorus: correlations between mate signalling effort and body elemental composition in crickets

Susan M. Bertram, John D. Schade, James Elser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent findings in the field of ecological stoichiometry indicate that the relationships among key macronutrient elements (e.g. carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) of organisms and their resources may underlie variation in fitness-conferring behaviours. The amount of phosphorus in an individual's body is often correlated with its rate of growth and reproduction, and low-phosphorus diets are known to reduce growth in a number of insect and crustacean herbivores. These findings suggest that the stoichiometric imbalance between organismal biomass requirements and the relative scarcity of nutrients in nature may underlie variation in condition-dependent behaviours. Here we investigate relationships between body elemental composition and long-distance mate attraction signals produced by male Texas field crickets, Gryllus texensis. Signalling was strongly and positively correlated with the percentage of phosphorus present in the body, but was not correlated with the percentage of carbon or nitrogen present. We also found evidence suggesting that callers and noncalling satellites differ in their elemental composition. To our knowledge, our data are the first to indicate that there may be a relationship between total body phosphorus content and a sexually selected trait. We present a preliminary evaluation of proximate hypotheses to account for the observed patterns. Our results indicate that a stoichiometric perspective may help us to understand the causes of variation in behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-907
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume72
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006

Fingerprint

cricket
Gryllidae
phosphorus
Gryllus texensis
mate attraction
carbon
nitrogen
stoichiometry
crustacean
herbivore
fitness
herbivores
Crustacea
elemental composition
insect
diet
insects
nutrient
biomass
organisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Signalling and phosphorus : correlations between mate signalling effort and body elemental composition in crickets. / Bertram, Susan M.; Schade, John D.; Elser, James.

In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 72, No. 4, 10.2006, p. 899-907.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{36187d54c5b948b8859b062cc11ba978,
title = "Signalling and phosphorus: correlations between mate signalling effort and body elemental composition in crickets",
abstract = "Recent findings in the field of ecological stoichiometry indicate that the relationships among key macronutrient elements (e.g. carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) of organisms and their resources may underlie variation in fitness-conferring behaviours. The amount of phosphorus in an individual's body is often correlated with its rate of growth and reproduction, and low-phosphorus diets are known to reduce growth in a number of insect and crustacean herbivores. These findings suggest that the stoichiometric imbalance between organismal biomass requirements and the relative scarcity of nutrients in nature may underlie variation in condition-dependent behaviours. Here we investigate relationships between body elemental composition and long-distance mate attraction signals produced by male Texas field crickets, Gryllus texensis. Signalling was strongly and positively correlated with the percentage of phosphorus present in the body, but was not correlated with the percentage of carbon or nitrogen present. We also found evidence suggesting that callers and noncalling satellites differ in their elemental composition. To our knowledge, our data are the first to indicate that there may be a relationship between total body phosphorus content and a sexually selected trait. We present a preliminary evaluation of proximate hypotheses to account for the observed patterns. Our results indicate that a stoichiometric perspective may help us to understand the causes of variation in behaviour.",
author = "Bertram, {Susan M.} and Schade, {John D.} and James Elser",
year = "2006",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.02.012",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "72",
pages = "899--907",
journal = "Animal Behaviour",
issn = "0003-3472",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Signalling and phosphorus

T2 - correlations between mate signalling effort and body elemental composition in crickets

AU - Bertram, Susan M.

AU - Schade, John D.

AU - Elser, James

PY - 2006/10

Y1 - 2006/10

N2 - Recent findings in the field of ecological stoichiometry indicate that the relationships among key macronutrient elements (e.g. carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) of organisms and their resources may underlie variation in fitness-conferring behaviours. The amount of phosphorus in an individual's body is often correlated with its rate of growth and reproduction, and low-phosphorus diets are known to reduce growth in a number of insect and crustacean herbivores. These findings suggest that the stoichiometric imbalance between organismal biomass requirements and the relative scarcity of nutrients in nature may underlie variation in condition-dependent behaviours. Here we investigate relationships between body elemental composition and long-distance mate attraction signals produced by male Texas field crickets, Gryllus texensis. Signalling was strongly and positively correlated with the percentage of phosphorus present in the body, but was not correlated with the percentage of carbon or nitrogen present. We also found evidence suggesting that callers and noncalling satellites differ in their elemental composition. To our knowledge, our data are the first to indicate that there may be a relationship between total body phosphorus content and a sexually selected trait. We present a preliminary evaluation of proximate hypotheses to account for the observed patterns. Our results indicate that a stoichiometric perspective may help us to understand the causes of variation in behaviour.

AB - Recent findings in the field of ecological stoichiometry indicate that the relationships among key macronutrient elements (e.g. carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus) of organisms and their resources may underlie variation in fitness-conferring behaviours. The amount of phosphorus in an individual's body is often correlated with its rate of growth and reproduction, and low-phosphorus diets are known to reduce growth in a number of insect and crustacean herbivores. These findings suggest that the stoichiometric imbalance between organismal biomass requirements and the relative scarcity of nutrients in nature may underlie variation in condition-dependent behaviours. Here we investigate relationships between body elemental composition and long-distance mate attraction signals produced by male Texas field crickets, Gryllus texensis. Signalling was strongly and positively correlated with the percentage of phosphorus present in the body, but was not correlated with the percentage of carbon or nitrogen present. We also found evidence suggesting that callers and noncalling satellites differ in their elemental composition. To our knowledge, our data are the first to indicate that there may be a relationship between total body phosphorus content and a sexually selected trait. We present a preliminary evaluation of proximate hypotheses to account for the observed patterns. Our results indicate that a stoichiometric perspective may help us to understand the causes of variation in behaviour.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33748634961&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33748634961&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.02.012

DO - 10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.02.012

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:33748634961

VL - 72

SP - 899

EP - 907

JO - Animal Behaviour

JF - Animal Behaviour

SN - 0003-3472

IS - 4

ER -