Upstream eventLocomotor activity, decreased
Decreased, Reproductive Success
Key Event Relationship Overview
AOPs Referencing Relationship
|AOP Name||Adjacency||Weight of Evidence||Quantitative Understanding|
|Inhibition of CYP7B activity leads to decreased reproductive success via decreased locomotor activity||adjacent|
|Japanese quail||Coturnix japonica||NCBI|
|Cynops pyrrhogaster||Cynops pyrrhogaster||NCBI|
Life Stage Applicability
|Adult, reproductively mature|
Key Event Relationship Description
A decrease in locomotor activity can be detrimental for the animal since it can limit exploration of territory, search for mating partner, and food consumption. It can also increase vulnerability to predation. Thus, a decrease in locomotor activity can have multiple effects that synergetically contribute to decreasing reproductive success.
Evidence Supporting this KER
Locomotor performance measured in the laboratory has frequently been used as a surrogate for fitness in animals (Bennett and Huey, 1990). In an environment with easily accessible food, the impact of a decreased locomotor activity are minimal. However, in a hostile environment that requires extensive foraging, insufficient locomotor activity can limit food intake and induce energetic deficit which, in turn, affects the energy available for reproduction. Similarly, a decreased locomotor activity is likely to limit the ability to escape predation and, consequently, to impair reproduction.
In a context of high competition between males for sexually-matured females, a decreased locomotor activity can limit the reproductive success.
In nature, locomotion, feeding and mate searching are interrelated behaviors.
- In a behavioral experiment, it was concluded that locomotor activity was correlated with the chemo-investigative behavior of nose tapping, a behavior used in both foraging and mate searching in the plethodontid salamanders (Schubert et al., 2006).
- It is predicted that suppression of locomotor activity by an acute stressor likely incurs costs to foraging and reproduction in salamender (Desmognathus ochrophaeus) (Ricciardella et al., 2010).
- In lizards, male behaviour (including social interactions and general locomotion) had a positive correlation that explained 81% of fertilization success. More active males sired offspring from more clutches (R2=0.9, F 1,7 = 56.12; P = 0.002). This correlation could be the result of an increased probability of encountering receptive female and thus reproductive success when male are active and traverse their territory (Keogh et al., 2012).
- The same observation was made in bird and newt. Indeed, increased locomotory activity in breeding male is believed to contribute to the rapid encounter of the male with a sexually mature female (Jones et al., 2001; Tsutsui et al., 2013).
- Lizards exposed to pesticides had decreased fitness caused by a decrease in locomotor performance. This sublethal effect is believed to decrease individual’s ability to avoid predators, capture prey, and defend territories (DuRant et al., 2007).
Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
Quantitative Understanding of the Linkage
It is reasonnable to believe that all mobile animals using sexual reproduction could experience a decline in reproductive success following a decreased locomotor activity.
Known modulating factors
Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
Domain of Applicability
Bennett A.F., Huey R.B., Studying the evolution of physiological performance, Oxford Surv. Evol. Biol., 7 (1990), pp. 251-284
DuRant S.E., Hopkins W.A., Talent L.G., Impaired terrestrial and arboreal locomotor performance in the western fence lizard after exposure to an AChE-inhibiting pesticide, Environmental Pollution, Volume 149, Issue 1, 2007, Pages 18-24,
E.K.M. Jones , N.B. Prescott , P. Cook , R.P. White & C.M. Wathes (2001) Ultraviolet light and mating behaviour in domestic broiler breeders, British Poultry Science, 42:1, 23-32
Gavrilov V.V., Veselovskaya E.O., Gavrilov V.M., Goretskaya M.Y, and Morgunova G.V. (2013). Diurnal Rhythms of Locomotor Activity, Changes in Body Mass and Fat Reserves, Standard Metabolic Rate, and Respiratory Quotient in the FreeLiving Coal Tit (Parus ater) in the Autumn–Winter Period. Biology Bulletin, Vol. 40-8, pp. 678–683.
Keogh JS, Noble DWA, Wilson EE, Whiting MJ (2012) Activity Predicts Male Reproductive Success in a Polygynous Lizard. PLoS ONE 7(7): e38856
Ricciardella L.F., Bliley J.M., Feth C.C., Woodley S.K. (2010). Acute stressors increase plasma corticosterone and decrease locomotor activity in a terrestrial salamander (Desmognathus ochrophaeus), Physiology & Behavior, Vol.101-1, pp. 81-86
Schubert S.N., Houck L.D., Feldhoff P.W., Feldhoff R.C., Woodley S.K. (2006). Effects of androgens on behavioral and vomeronasal responses to chemosensory cues in male terrestrial salamanders (Plethodon shermani). Horm Behav, 50, pp. 469–476
Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi et al. “New Biosynthesis and Biological Actions of Avian Neurosteroids.” Journal of Experimental Neuroscience 7 (2013): 15–29. PMC. Web. 26 June 2017.