Can trans-generational experiments be used to enhance species resilience to ocean warming and acidification?

Chakravarti, Leela, Jarrold, Michael D., Gibbin, Emma M., Christen, Felix, Massamba-N'Siala, Gloria, Blier, Pierre U., and Calosi, Piero (2016) Can trans-generational experiments be used to enhance species resilience to ocean warming and acidification? Evolutionary Applications, 9 (9). pp. 1133-1146.

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Human-assisted, trans-generational exposure to ocean warming and acidification has been proposed as a conservation and/or restoration tool to produce resilient offspring. To improve our understanding of the need for and the efficacy of this approach, we characterized life-history and physiological responses in offspring of the marine polychaete Ophryotrocha labronica exposed to predicted ocean warming (OW: + 3 degrees C), ocean acidification (OA: pH -0.5) and their combination (OWA: + 3 degrees C, pH -0.5), following the exposure of their parents to either control conditions (within-generational exposure) or the same conditions (trans-generational exposure). Trans-generational exposure to OW fully alleviated the negative effects of within-generational exposure to OW on fecundity and egg volume and was accompanied by increased metabolic activity. While within-generational exposure to OA reduced juvenile growth rates and egg volume, trans-generational exposure alleviated the former but could not restore the latter. Surprisingly, exposure to OWA had no negative impacts within-or trans-generationally. Our results highlight the potential for trans-generational laboratory experiments in producing offspring that are resilient to OW and OA. However, trans-generational exposure does not always appear to improve traits and therefore may not be a universally useful tool for all species in the face of global change.

Item ID: 47225
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1752-4571
Keywords: acclimation, climate change, conservation, global change, parental effects, phenotypic plasticity, restoration, selection
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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Université du Québec in Rimouski (UQ), European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program (EU), Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et Technologies (UQ-NT)
Projects and Grants: NSERC Discovery Program grant, UQ BOREAS Research Group, EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant aggreement no. 659359, UQ-NT programme Etablissement de Nouveaux Chercheurs Unitversitaires No. 199173
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2017 08:02
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 80%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 20%
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