Climate change is having a dramatic effect on the environment, with rising global temperatures and more frequent extreme climatic events, such as heatwaves, that can hamper organisms' biological functions. Although it is clear that sudden and extreme temperatures can damage reproductive processes, there is limited understanding of the effects of heatwaves on male mating behaviour and reproductive success. We tested for the effects of heat stress induced by ecologically relevant heatwaves (33°C and 39°C for five consecutive days) on the mating behaviour, reproductive success, body mass and survival of male field crickets Gryllus bimaculatus, paired with untreated females. We predicted life-history and reproductive costs would increase with increasing heatwave intensity. Consistent with our expectations, males exposed to the highest heatwave temperature produced the fewest offspring, while having to increase courtship effort to successfully mate. Males also gained relatively more weight following heatwave exposure. Given that we found no difference in lifetime survival, our results suggest a potential trade-off in resource allocation between somatic maintenance and reproductive investment. Taken together, our findings indicate that sublethal effects of heatwaves could reduce the growth and persistence of animal populations by negatively impacting reproductive rates. These findings highlight the need for considering thermal ecologies, life history and behaviour to better understand the consequences of extreme climatic events on individuals and populations.

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