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Journal Article

Does climate warming influence sexual chemical signaling?

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Groot, A. T., & Zizzari, Z. V. (2019). Does climate warming influence sexual chemical signaling? Animal Biology, 69, 83-93. doi:10.1163/15707563-20191103.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-7B27-7
Global climate is changing at a rapid pace and the pivotal question is if the rate and extent of species’ responses to stressful events enable them to persist in a changing world. Although the consequences of rapid environmental changes on animal life-history traits are receiving considerable attention, our understanding of how temperature fluctuations affect sexual chemical communication in animals is scarce. Male-female interactions often depend on pheromone detectability and sudden shifts in environmental temperature are expected to disrupt communication between potential mates. Whether organisms can adapt to temperature-induced changes at both signaller and receiver levels is virtually unexplored. In this perspective paper, we first provide a broad overview of the sex pheromone pathway, from biosynthesis to detection, and outline the importance of chemical-based mate choice. Finally, through several study cases, we highlight how thermal stress may interfere with chemical communication between the sexes, and discuss the potential evolutionary consequence of temperature stress.