The evolution of phenotypic plasticity under global change

Gibbin, Emma M., N'Siala, Gloria Massamba, Chakravarti, Leela J., Jarrold, Michael D., and Calosi, Piero (2017) The evolution of phenotypic plasticity under global change. Scientific Reports, 7.

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Abstract

Marine ecosystems are currently in a state of flux, with ocean warming and acidification occurring at unprecedented rates. Phenotypic plasticity underpins acclimatory responses by shifting the mean phenotype in a population, which may buffer the negative effects of global change. However, little is known about how phenotypic plasticity evolves across multiple generations. We tested this by reciprocally-transplanting the polychaete Ophryotrocha labronica between control and global change scenarios (ocean warming and acidification in isolation and combined) over five generations. By comparing the reaction norms of four life-history traits across generations, we show that juvenile developmental rate in the combined scenario was the only trait that changed its plastic response across generations when transplanted back to control conditions, and that adaptive plasticity was conserved in most traits, despite significant levels of selection and strong declines in individual fitness in the multi-generational exposure. We suggest the change in level of plasticity in the combined scenario is caused by differential allocation of energy between the mean and the plasticity of the trait along the multigenerational exposure. The ability to maintain within-generational levels of plasticity under global change scenarios has important eco-evolutionary and conservation implications, which are examined under the framework of assisted evolution programs.

Item ID: 51887
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Additional Information:

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

ISSN: 2045-2322
Funders: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, Fond Institutionelle de Recherche of the Universite du Quebec à Rimouski
Projects and Grants: NSERC No.199173
Date Deposited: 27 Dec 2017 07:38
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060303 Biological Adaptation @ 34%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960802 Coastal and Estuarine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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