Nutrition- and sex-dependent utilization of body resources in relation to reproduction in a scorpionfly.

Engqvist L, Sauer KP, Engels S (2011)
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 102(1): 199-207.

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Reproduction often comes at a cost of a reduction in body functions. In order to enhance their reproductive output, some insect species degenerate their thoracic muscles, typically resulting in reduced flight ability. From a life-history trade-off perspective, we expect the importance of body resource utilization to be amplified both with increased reproductive expenditure and with increased resource limitation. In this study, we measured age-related changes in thorax weight, as a measure of flight muscle size, during a major part of the adult lifespan in males and females of the scorpionfly Panorpa vulgaris. The aim of the study was twofold: first to investigate whether scorpionflies have the potential to degenerate their flight muscles; second, and more importantly, to determine whether the magnitude of flight muscle degeneration is a plastic response in relation to resource availability, and if it differs between the sexes. The results clearly demonstrate that food availability does influence investment in flight muscle development. The build-up of the thoracic muscles was strongly influenced by nutrient availability. Furthermore, the age-related decrease in thorax weight was significantly different for males and females. Only females showed a strong age-dependent decrease in thorax weight, indicative of muscle degeneration, yet no difference between food treatments was detected. For males, there was no significant directional change in thorax weight. Nevertheless, with increasing age, the difference in thorax weight between food treatments increased significantly.
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Engqvist L, Sauer KP, Engels S. Nutrition- and sex-dependent utilization of body resources in relation to reproduction in a scorpionfly. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2011;102(1):199-207.
Engqvist, L., Sauer, K. P., & Engels, S. (2011). Nutrition- and sex-dependent utilization of body resources in relation to reproduction in a scorpionfly. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 102(1), 199-207.
Engqvist, L., Sauer, K. P., and Engels, S. (2011). Nutrition- and sex-dependent utilization of body resources in relation to reproduction in a scorpionfly. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 102, 199-207.
Engqvist, L., Sauer, K.P., & Engels, S., 2011. Nutrition- and sex-dependent utilization of body resources in relation to reproduction in a scorpionfly. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 102(1), p 199-207.
L. Engqvist, K.P. Sauer, and S. Engels, “Nutrition- and sex-dependent utilization of body resources in relation to reproduction in a scorpionfly.”, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, vol. 102, 2011, pp. 199-207.
Engqvist, L., Sauer, K.P., Engels, S.: Nutrition- and sex-dependent utilization of body resources in relation to reproduction in a scorpionfly. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 102, 199-207 (2011).
Engqvist, Leif, Sauer, Klaus Peter, and Engels, Sierk. “Nutrition- and sex-dependent utilization of body resources in relation to reproduction in a scorpionfly.”. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 102.1 (2011): 199-207.
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