Acclimation to predicted ocean warming through developmental plasticity in a tropical reef fish

Donelson, Jennifer M., Munday, Philip, Mccormick, Mark I., and Nilsson, Göran E. (2011) Acclimation to predicted ocean warming through developmental plasticity in a tropical reef fish. Global Change Biology, 17 (4). pp. 1712-1719.

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Determining the capacity of organisms to acclimate and adapt to increased temperatures is key to understand how populations and communities will respond to global warming. Although there is evidence that elevated water temperature affects metabolism, growth and condition of tropical marine fish, it is unknown whether they have the potential to acclimate, given adequate time. We reared the tropical reef fish Acanthochromis polyacanthus through its entire life cycle at present day and elevated (11.5 and13.0 1C) water temperatures to test its ability to thermally acclimate to ocean temperatures predicted to occur over the next 50–100 years. Fish reared at 3.0 1C greater than the present day average reduced their resting oxygen consumption (RMR) during summer compared with fish reared at present day temperatures and tested at the elevated temperature. The reduction in RMR of up to 69mgO2 kg1 h1 in acclimated fish could represent a significant benefit to daily energy expenditure. In contrast, there was no acclimation to summer temperatures exhibited by fish reared at 1.5 1C above present day temperatures. Fish acclimated to 13.0 1C were smaller and in poorer condition than fish reared at present day temperatures, suggesting that even with acclimation there will be significant consequences for future populations of tropical fishes caused by global warming.

Item ID: 15045
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2486
Keywords: acclimation, climate change, coral reef fish, developmental plasticity, global warming, metabolism, oxygen consumption, respirometry
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2010 02:19
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 25%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 25%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960305 Ecosystem Adaptation to Climate Change @ 50%
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