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  1. Abstract

    Numerous studies have documented the negative effects of neonicotinoids on bees; it remains crucial to examine how neonicotinoids affect other non‐target nectar‐feeding insects, such as the monarch butterfly,Danaus plexippus.

    Wildflowers growing near agricultural areas can be contaminated with neonicotinoids that affect survival or cause sublethal changes to behaviours of nectar‐feeding insects. Nectar residues of imidacloprid and clothianidin found in milkweeds and wildflowers adjacent to agricultural field range from 0 to 72.8 ng/mL.

    At field‐relevant doses, two neonicotinoids (imidacloprid and clothianidin) were studied for their effects on adult monarch survival, reproduction, flight and behaviour. First, we fed adult monarchs artificial nectar solutions ranging from 15 to 386 ng/mL of imidacloprid and 19 to 531 ng/mL of clothianidin. Neonicotinoid ingestion slightly reduced monarch reproduction but had no significant effects on survival, weight change, or activity levels.

    Second, we fed monarchs higher clothianidin doses (909 and 4030 ng/mL), that exceed field‐relevant levels by 22 and 99 times. These higher doses reduced monarch nectar consumption, survival, flight performance and reaction time in response to a drop test.

    Results show that adult monarchs tolerate field‐relevant doses as high as 54 ng/mL for imidacloprid and 75 ng/mL for clothianidin, with minimal lethal or sub‐lethal effects until much higher doses are supplied. We conclude that adult monarchs are more tolerant of ingested clothianidin and imidacloprid than indicated by previous research.

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  2. Brunet, Johanne (Ed.)
    Abstract Honey bees (Apis mellifera L. Hymeoptera: Apidae) use hydrogen peroxide (synthesized by excreted glucose oxidase) as an important component of social immunity. However, both tolerance of hydrogen peroxide and the production of glucose oxidase in honey is costly. Hydrogen peroxide may also be encountered by honey bees at high concentrations in nectar while foraging, however despite its presence both in their foraged and stored foods, it is unclear if and how bees monitor concentrations of, and their behavioral responses to, hydrogen peroxide. The costs of glucose oxidase production and the presence of hydrogen peroxide in both nectar and honey suggest hypotheses that honey bees preferentially forage on hydrogen peroxide supplemented feed syrups at certain concentrations, and avoid feed syrups supplemented with hydrogen peroxide at concentrations above some tolerance threshold. We test these hypotheses and find that, counter to expectation, honey bees avoid glucose solutions supplemented with field-relevant hydrogen peroxide concentrations and either avoid or don’t differentiate supplemented sucrose solutions when given choice assays. This is despite honey bees showing high tolerance for hydrogen peroxide in feed solutions, with no elevated mortality until concentrations of hydrogen peroxide exceed 1% (v/v) in solution, with survival apparent even at concentrations up to 10%. The behavioral interaction of honey bees with hydrogen peroxide during both within-colony synthesis in honey and when foraging on nectar therefore likely relies on interactions with other indicator molecules, and maybe constrained evolutionarily in its plasticity, representing a constitutive immune mechanism. 
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  3. Abstract

    Trade‐offs are fundamental to evolutionary outcomes and play a central role in eco‐evolutionary theory. They are often examined by experimentally selecting on one life‐history trait and looking for negative correlations in other traits. For example, populations of the mothPlodia interpunctellaselected to resist viral infection show a life‐history cost with longer development times. However, we rarely examine whether the detection of such negative genetic correlations depends on the trait on which we select. Here, we examine a well‐characterized negative genotypic trade‐off between development time and resistance to viral infection in the mothPlodia interpunctellaand test whether selection on a phenotype known to be a cost of resistance (longer development time) leads to the predicted correlated increase in resistance. If there is tight pleiotropic relationship between genes that determine development time and resistance underpinning this trade‐off, we might expect increased resistance when we select on longer development time. However, we show that selecting for longer development time in this system selects for reduced resistance when compared to selection for shorter development time. This shows how phenotypes typically characterized by a trade‐off can deviate from that trade‐off relationship, and suggests little genetic linkage between the genes governing viral resistance and those that determine response to selection on the key life‐history trait. Our results are important for both selection strategies in applied biological systems and for evolutionary modelling of host–parasite interactions.

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