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Title (Primary) Decoding and discrimination of chemical cues and signals: Avoidance of predation and competition during parental care behavior in sympatric poison frogs
Author Schulte, L.M.; Krauss, M.; Lötters, S.; Schulze, T.; Brack, W.;
Journal PLOS ONE
Year 2015
Department WANA;
Volume 10
Issue 7
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T32;
UFZ wide themes RU2;
Abstract The evolution of chemical communication and the discrimination between evolved functions (signals) and unintentional releases (cues) are among the most challenging issues in chemical ecology. The accurate classification of inter- or intraspecific chemical communication is often puzzling. Here we report on two different communication systems triggering the same parental care behavior in the poison frog Ranitomeya variabilis. This species deposits its tadpoles and egg clutches in phytotelmata and chemically recognizes and avoids sites with both predatory conspecific and non-predatory heterospecific tadpoles (of the species Hyloxalus azureiventris). Combining chemical analyses with in-situ bioassays, we identified the molecular formulas of the chemical compounds triggering this behavior. We found that both species produce distinct chemical compound combinations, suggesting two separate communication systems. Bringing these results into an ecological context, we classify the conspecific R. variabilis compounds as chemical cues, advantageous only to the receivers (the adult frogs), not the emitters (the tadpoles). The heterospecific compounds, however, are suggested to be chemical signals (or cues evolving into signals), being advantageous to the emitters (the heterospecific tadpoles) and likely also to the receivers (the adult frogs). Due to these assumed receiver benefits, the heterospecific compounds are possibly synomones which are advantageous to both emitter and receiver ‒ a very rare communication system between animal species, especially vertebrates.
ID 16319
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=16319
Schulte, L.M., Krauss, M., Lötters, S., Schulze, T., Brack, W. (2015):
Decoding and discrimination of chemical cues and signals: Avoidance of predation and competition during parental care behavior in sympatric poison frogs
PLOS One 10 (7), e0129929