Evading invaders: The effectiveness of a behavioral response acquired through lifetime exposure

N. A. Freidenfelds, T. R. Robbins, Tracy Lee Langkilde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms driving adaptations to survive agonistic interactions, and their function, provides insight into how native species adapt to aggressive invaders, a growing global threat. We staged encounters between native fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) and red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on and off the ant mound (nest) to examine the effectiveness of lizard antipredator behavior through ontogeny while focusing on the impact of lifetime and evolutionary exposure to this invasive threat. We used field-caught and lab-reared lizards from a fire ant-invaded and an uninvaded site. In ∼90% of cases, fire ants found lizards within 12 min in natural lizard habitat. Lizards that performed rapid twitches of their body and/or fled after initial encounter with a fire ant scout reduced their risk of having additional fire ants recruit to the attack. The majority of lizards that had been exposed to fire ants within their lifetime (field-caught lizards from the invaded site) behaviorally responded to attack, whereas relatively few lizards that were naïve to fire ants (all lab-reared lizards and field-caught lizards from the uninvaded site) responded. Because fewer adult lizards responded to fire ants than juveniles, they were recruited to by additional attacking ants significantly more than were juveniles. Our data suggest that the higher percentage of responsive adults within invaded populations is the result of within-lifetime selection acting against unresponsive adults, and/or lifetime exposure to fire ants triggering the retention of this juvenile behavior into adulthood, rather than selection acting on a heritable trait across generations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-664
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012

Fingerprint

chronic exposure
behavioral response
lizard
lizards
ant
fire ants
Solenopsis invicta
exposure
Sceloporus undulatus
ant nests
fences
ontogeny
adulthood
native species
nest
Formicidae
indigenous species
nests

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Cite this

@article{6a8301769925485d999e8304c40950a0,
title = "Evading invaders: The effectiveness of a behavioral response acquired through lifetime exposure",
abstract = "Understanding the mechanisms driving adaptations to survive agonistic interactions, and their function, provides insight into how native species adapt to aggressive invaders, a growing global threat. We staged encounters between native fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) and red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on and off the ant mound (nest) to examine the effectiveness of lizard antipredator behavior through ontogeny while focusing on the impact of lifetime and evolutionary exposure to this invasive threat. We used field-caught and lab-reared lizards from a fire ant-invaded and an uninvaded site. In ∼90{\%} of cases, fire ants found lizards within 12 min in natural lizard habitat. Lizards that performed rapid twitches of their body and/or fled after initial encounter with a fire ant scout reduced their risk of having additional fire ants recruit to the attack. The majority of lizards that had been exposed to fire ants within their lifetime (field-caught lizards from the invaded site) behaviorally responded to attack, whereas relatively few lizards that were na{\"i}ve to fire ants (all lab-reared lizards and field-caught lizards from the uninvaded site) responded. Because fewer adult lizards responded to fire ants than juveniles, they were recruited to by additional attacking ants significantly more than were juveniles. Our data suggest that the higher percentage of responsive adults within invaded populations is the result of within-lifetime selection acting against unresponsive adults, and/or lifetime exposure to fire ants triggering the retention of this juvenile behavior into adulthood, rather than selection acting on a heritable trait across generations.",
author = "Freidenfelds, {N. A.} and Robbins, {T. R.} and Langkilde, {Tracy Lee}",
year = "2012",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/beheco/ars011",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "23",
pages = "659--664",
journal = "Behavioral Ecology",
issn = "1045-2249",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "3",

}

Evading invaders : The effectiveness of a behavioral response acquired through lifetime exposure. / Freidenfelds, N. A.; Robbins, T. R.; Langkilde, Tracy Lee.

In: Behavioral Ecology, Vol. 23, No. 3, 01.05.2012, p. 659-664.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Evading invaders

T2 - The effectiveness of a behavioral response acquired through lifetime exposure

AU - Freidenfelds, N. A.

AU - Robbins, T. R.

AU - Langkilde, Tracy Lee

PY - 2012/5/1

Y1 - 2012/5/1

N2 - Understanding the mechanisms driving adaptations to survive agonistic interactions, and their function, provides insight into how native species adapt to aggressive invaders, a growing global threat. We staged encounters between native fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) and red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on and off the ant mound (nest) to examine the effectiveness of lizard antipredator behavior through ontogeny while focusing on the impact of lifetime and evolutionary exposure to this invasive threat. We used field-caught and lab-reared lizards from a fire ant-invaded and an uninvaded site. In ∼90% of cases, fire ants found lizards within 12 min in natural lizard habitat. Lizards that performed rapid twitches of their body and/or fled after initial encounter with a fire ant scout reduced their risk of having additional fire ants recruit to the attack. The majority of lizards that had been exposed to fire ants within their lifetime (field-caught lizards from the invaded site) behaviorally responded to attack, whereas relatively few lizards that were naïve to fire ants (all lab-reared lizards and field-caught lizards from the uninvaded site) responded. Because fewer adult lizards responded to fire ants than juveniles, they were recruited to by additional attacking ants significantly more than were juveniles. Our data suggest that the higher percentage of responsive adults within invaded populations is the result of within-lifetime selection acting against unresponsive adults, and/or lifetime exposure to fire ants triggering the retention of this juvenile behavior into adulthood, rather than selection acting on a heritable trait across generations.

AB - Understanding the mechanisms driving adaptations to survive agonistic interactions, and their function, provides insight into how native species adapt to aggressive invaders, a growing global threat. We staged encounters between native fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) and red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on and off the ant mound (nest) to examine the effectiveness of lizard antipredator behavior through ontogeny while focusing on the impact of lifetime and evolutionary exposure to this invasive threat. We used field-caught and lab-reared lizards from a fire ant-invaded and an uninvaded site. In ∼90% of cases, fire ants found lizards within 12 min in natural lizard habitat. Lizards that performed rapid twitches of their body and/or fled after initial encounter with a fire ant scout reduced their risk of having additional fire ants recruit to the attack. The majority of lizards that had been exposed to fire ants within their lifetime (field-caught lizards from the invaded site) behaviorally responded to attack, whereas relatively few lizards that were naïve to fire ants (all lab-reared lizards and field-caught lizards from the uninvaded site) responded. Because fewer adult lizards responded to fire ants than juveniles, they were recruited to by additional attacking ants significantly more than were juveniles. Our data suggest that the higher percentage of responsive adults within invaded populations is the result of within-lifetime selection acting against unresponsive adults, and/or lifetime exposure to fire ants triggering the retention of this juvenile behavior into adulthood, rather than selection acting on a heritable trait across generations.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84859513914&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84859513914&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/beheco/ars011

DO - 10.1093/beheco/ars011

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84859513914

VL - 23

SP - 659

EP - 664

JO - Behavioral Ecology

JF - Behavioral Ecology

SN - 1045-2249

IS - 3

ER -