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Journal Articles Biological Journal of the Linnean Society Year : 2021

Disentangling the roles of social and individual effects on cadmium tolerance in the ant Temnothorax nylanderi

Abstract

Urbanization brings new pressures for individuals. Among them, trace elements, such as cadmium, are important stressors. A recent study highlights a weaker negative effect of cadmium on city colonies relative to their forest counterparts in the ant Temnothorax nylanderi. Here, we aim to test whether the better tolerance of city colonies in this species results from a better ability of workers to rear larvae despite stressful conditions and/or a better ability of larvae to develop properly despite stressful conditions. We performed a cross-fostering experiment of workers and larvae from city and forest colonies, in common garden conditions in the laboratory. Colonies were fed using cadmium-enriched or cadmium-free food for 2 months, and we measured four life-history traits. As expected, cadmium had a negative impact on all traits. Unexpectedly, we did not observe a better tolerance of city colonies to cadmium, contrary to our previous study, which prevented us from disentangling the respective contributions of workers and larvae to cadmium tolerance. Interestingly, forest colonies seemed to be of better quality in our laboratory conditions. Finally, colony size increased adult survival, but only in the absence of cadmium, suggesting that social buffering could collapse with strong external disturbances.
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hal-03391659 , version 1 (21-10-2021)

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Romain Honorio, Lauren Jacquier, Claudie Doums, Mathieu Molet. Disentangling the roles of social and individual effects on cadmium tolerance in the ant Temnothorax nylanderi. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2021, 134 (4), pp.823-834. ⟨10.1093/biolinnean/blab116⟩. ⟨hal-03391659⟩
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