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Strong anthropogenic noise can result in hearing loss. Auditory receptors in the locust ear showed a decreased ability to encode sound after noise exposure. The mechanism for such hearing loss reveals striking parallels with that of the mammalian auditory system (Warren et al. 2020). A series of experiments was conducted to determine whether exposure to simulated road traffic noise induces increased heart rates, as an indicator of a stress response (Davis et al. 2018). Larvae of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) exposed for 2 h to road traffic noise experienced a significant increase in heart rate, indicative of stress. Because these larvae do not have ears for air-borne sound, the likely sensory pathway involved vibration receptors. However, exposing larvae for longer periods (up to 12 days) to continuous traffic noise did not increase heart rate at the end of larval development; so chronic noise exposure may result in habituation or desensitization. However, habituation to stress during larval stages may impair reactions to stressors in adult insects.
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The enhanced respiratory capacity of highland torrent ducks was associated with greater activity of CIV, without any significant differences from lowland ducks in the activities of other electron transport chain enzymes (Table 1; Fig. 2). This was somewhat surprising in light of the common perception that CIV is generally in excess capacity, and that CIV exerts less control over pathway flux than other mitochondrial complexes (Telford et al., 2009). Although this could imply that relatively large increases in CIV activity are needed to achieve relatively small changes in mitochondrial oxygen consumption, our results suggest that this is not the case; the relative differences in the highland population for mitochondrial respiration (1.7- to 2.1-fold) were nearly as large as those for CIV activity (2.5-fold). It is also possible that the larger relative excess of CIV activity in highland ducks helps increase the O2 affinity of mitochondria, by reducing the catalytic turnover rate of each CIV enzyme (Gnaiger et al., 1998; Kudin et al., 2002), and thus helps sustain ATP synthesis in hypoxia. However, although unique specializations in the activity, structure and function of CIV have been observed in the locomotor muscles of several high-altitude taxa (Sheafor, 2003; Scott et al., 2011; Lui et al., 2015), it is not clear whether these specializations affect mitochondrial O2 affinity (Scott et al., 2009a,b).