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Adaptation and acclimatization to ocean acidification in marine ectotherms: an in situ transplant experiment with polychaetes at a shallow CO₂ vent system

Rastrick, Samuel P.S.; de Guzman, Heidi J.; Hardege, Jörg D.; Spicer, John I.; Davidson, Laura; Hardege, Jorg; Calosi, Piero; de Guzman, Heidi; Gambi, Maria Cristina; Giangrande, Adriana; Jahnke, Marlene; Lombardi, Chiara; Rastrick Samuel, P S; Schulze, Anja; Spicer, John


Piero Calosi

Heidi de Guzman

Maria Cristina Gambi

Adriana Giangrande

Marlene Jahnke

Chiara Lombardi

P S Rastrick Samuel

Anja Schulze

John Spicer

Samuel P.S. Rastrick

Heidi J. de Guzman

John I. Spicer


Metabolic rate determines the physiological and life-history performances of ectotherms. Thus, the extent to which such rates are sensitive and plastic to environmental perturbation is central to an organism's ability to function in a changing environment. Little is known of long-term metabolic plasticity and potential for metabolic adaptation in marine ectotherms exposed to elevated pCO₂. Consequently, we carried out a series of in situ transplant experiments using a number of tolerant and sensitive polychaete species living around a natural CO₂ vent system. Here, we show that a marine metazoan (i.e. Platynereis dumerilii) was able to adapt to chronic and elevated levels of pCO₂. The vent population of P. dumerilii was physiologically and genetically different from nearby populations that experience low pCO₂, as well as smaller in body size. By contrast, different populations of Amphiglena mediterranea showed marked physiological plasticity indicating that adaptation or acclimatization are both viable strategies for the successful colonization of elevated pCO₂ environments. In addition, sensitive species showed either a reduced or increased metabolism when exposed acutely to elevated pCO₂. Our findings may help explain, from a metabolic perspective, the occurrence of past mass extinction, as well as shed light on alternative pathways of resilience in species facing ongoing ocean acidification.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 5, 2013
Journal Philosophical transactions Of The Royal Society B-Biological sciences
Print ISSN 0962-8436
Electronic ISSN 1471-2970
Publisher Royal Society, The
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 368
Issue 1627
Pages 0-0
Keywords REF 2014 submission
Publisher URL
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Philosophical transactions Of The Royal Society B-Biological sciences, 2013, v.368, issue 1627


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