30-6 09:30 - 09:45 Multigenerational plasticity in response to variation in temperature and water availability Stahlschmidt, ZR*; Yoksuloglu, S; Choi, JM; Sandhu, S; University of the Pacific; University of the Pacific; University of the Pacific; University of the Pacific email@example.com http://stahlschmidtlab.weebly.com/
Environmental variation associated with climate change may pose a greater risk to animals than the gradual warming characterized by shifts in mean temperature. Embryos may be particularly vulnerable to variation in temperature and water availability because they represent a critical stage of development and are trapped in their microclimates. However, environmental variability experienced by parents may influence the size or composition of their eggs thereby mitigating (or exacerbating) the effects of environmental variation on the development of their offspring. Here, we examine multigenerational phenotypic plasticity (i.e., transgenerational plasticity and within-generation plasticity) by disentangling the effects of thermal and hydric variation experienced by adults and by their embryos on embryonic development. We used two factorial experiments in the variable field cricket (Gryllus lineaticeps) to manipulate variation in temperature and water availability in parents and their eggs. Thrice weekly, eggs were imaged to determine embryonic stage and estimated egg volume. Egg survival was then determined, as well as hatchlings’ resistance to starvation and desiccation. Our results will inform the potential effects of environmental variation in a widespread taxon, as well as the transgenerational effects of environmental variation (e.g., the ability of mothers to adaptively provision or epigenetically program their eggs in response to environmental shifts associated with climate change).