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Hibernation Conditions Contribute to the Differential Resistance to Cadmium between Urban and Forest Ant Colonies

Abstract : Trace metals such as cadmium are found in high concentrations in urban environments. Animal and plant populations living in heavily contaminated environments could adapt to trace metals exposure. A recent study shows that urban populations of the acorn ant Temnothorax nylanderi are more resistant to cadmium than their forest counterparts. However, this study was performed using field colonies that had just come out of hibernation. Because urban and forest hibernation environments differ, the differential resistance to trace metals may originate either from differential hibernation conditions or from a different resistance baseline to cadmium. In this study, we tested these two hypotheses using laboratory common garden hibernation conditions. We let urban and forest colonies of the ant T. nylanderi hibernate under the same laboratory conditions for four months. After this hibernation period, we also collected field-hibernating colonies and we compared cadmium resistance between urban and forest colonies depending on the hibernation condition. We found a differential response to cadmium under common garden, with urban colonies displaying less larval mortality and lower size reduction of the produced individuals. This suggests a different resistance baseline of urban colonies to cadmium. However, unexpectedly, we did not detect the differential response between urban and forest colonies in the field, suggesting a more complex scenario involving both genetic and environmental influences.
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Contributor : Gestionnaire Hal-Su <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 3, 2021 - 12:00:39 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 4:26:13 PM


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Lauren Jacquier, Mathieu Molet, Céline Bocquet, Claudie Doums. Hibernation Conditions Contribute to the Differential Resistance to Cadmium between Urban and Forest Ant Colonies. Animals, MDPI, 2021, 11 (4), pp.1050. ⟨10.3390/ani11041050⟩. ⟨hal-03215336⟩



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