Heritability of behavioural tolerance to high CO2 in a coral reef fish is masked by nonadaptive phenotypic plasticity

Welch, Megan J., and Munday, Philip L. (2017) Heritability of behavioural tolerance to high CO2 in a coral reef fish is masked by nonadaptive phenotypic plasticity. Evolutionary Applications, 10 (7). pp. 682-693.

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Previous studies have demonstrated limited potential for acclimation of adversely affected olfactory behaviours in reef fishes under elevated CO2, indicating that genetic adaptation will be required to maintain behavioural performance in the future. Adaptation depends on the presence of heritable phenotypic variation in the trait, which may differ between populations and environments. We used parent-offspring regressions to estimate the heritability (h(2)) of variation in behavioural tolerance to high CO2 (754atm) in both field-collected and laboratory-reared families of Acanthochromis polyacanthus. Tolerance to elevated CO2 was measured by determining the behavioural response of individuals to chemical alarm cues. Both populations exhibited high heritability of olfactory behaviour phenotype (father-mid-offspring h(2)=0.56 & 0.65, respectively) when offspring were acutely exposed to high CO2 for 4days. However, there was no heritability in the behavioural phenotype when juveniles were chronically exposed to high CO2 for 6weeks in the laboratory-reared families. Parental exposure to high CO2 during the breeding season did not alter this relationship between heritability and length of juvenile exposure to high CO2. These results demonstrate that variation in behavioural tolerance to high CO2 is heritable, but adaptive potential may be constrained by a loss of phenotypic variation when juveniles permanently experience a high-CO2 environment, as will occur with rising CO2 levels in the ocean.

Item ID: 50531
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1752-4571
Keywords: behaviour, genetic variation, ocean acidification, parent-offspring regression, phenotypic plasticity
Research Data: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dc068
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 09:59
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410102 Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3199 Other biological sciences > 319902 Global change biology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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