ECOLOGY physiology and climate change

Animal Ecophysiology, Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, 27515 Bremerhaven, Germany.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 11/2008; 322(5902):690-2. DOI: 10.1126/science.1163156
Source: PubMed


Studies of physiological mechanisms are needed to predict climate effects on ecosystems at species and community levels.

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Available from: Hans-Otto Pörtner, Mar 05, 2015
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    • "These populations may temporally use deeper, cooler habitats to reduce metabolic costs. Thermal preference may therefore influence species' distribution patterns in several ways through habitat selection (Pörtner and Farrell 2008; Gardiner et al. 2010) and modification to depth and/or latitude ranges (Perry et al. 2005; Grebmeier et al. 2006; Pörtner and Peck 2010). Temperature preference has been investigated in some temperate fish species (Fry 1947; Brett 1952; Kelsch and Neill 1990; Johnson and Kelsch 1998; Killen 2014), but no study to date has explored this trait in tropical coral reef fish species. "
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    ABSTRACT: As global temperatures increase, fish populations at low latitudes are thought to be at risk as they are adapted to narrow temperature ranges and live at temperatures close to their thermal tolerance limits. Behavioural movements, based on a preference for a specific temperature (T pref), may provide a strategy to cope with changing conditions. A temperature-sensitive coral reef cardinalfish (Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus) was exposed to 28 °C (average at collection site) or 32 °C (predicted end-of-century) for 6 weeks. T pref was determined using a shut-tlebox system, which allowed fish to behaviourally manipulate their thermal environment. Regardless of treatment temperature, fish preferred 29.5 ± 0.25 °C, approximating summer average temperatures in the wild. However, 32 °C fish moved more frequently to correct their thermal environment than 28 °C fish, and daytime movements were more frequent than night-time movements. Understanding temperature-mediated movements is imperative for predicting how ocean warming will influence coral reef species and distribution patterns.
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    • "Post-larvae were found to have significantly larger diameters when treated at pH 7.7 compared to control conditions at pH 8.1. As juveniles become exotrophic around 8 days after metamorphosis (Gosselin and Jangoux 1998), the increased scope for growth could be caused by increased metabolism under non-energy limiting conditions (Pörtner and Farrell 2008). The larger juveniles could be less susceptible to predation as they possess larger defensive structures. "
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    • "For most coral reefs, particularly at latitudes <10°N/S where seasonal temperatures vary ≤3°C (Lough, 2012), resident ectothermic organisms are predicted to be temperature specialists without the physiological capacity to cope with large temperature fluctuations (e.g. Pörtner and Farrell, 2008; Tewksbury et al., 2008; Pörtner et al., 2010). Several recent studies have confirmed that tropical organisms, such as coral and reef fish, are highly sensitive to minor thermal fluctuations, with temperatures merely 2–4°C above the present-day summer average causing severe reductions in performance and fitness and even death of some species (Hoegh-Guldberg, 1999; Deutsch et al., 2008; Martin and Huey, 2008; Tewksbury et al., 2008; Munday et al., 2009; Dillon et al., 2010; Johansen and Jones, 2011). "
    Conservation Physiology 09/2015; 3(1):cov039. DOI:10.1093/conphys/cov039
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