Heritable pollution tolerance in a marine invader

The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Environmental Research (Impact Factor: 3.95). 02/2011; 111(7):926-32. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2010.12.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The global spread of fouling invasive species is continuing despite the use of antifouling biocides. Furthermore, previous evidence suggests that non-indigenous species introduced via hull fouling may be capable of adapting to metal-polluted environments. Using a laboratory based toxicity assay, we investigated tolerance to copper in the non-indigenous bryozoan Watersipora subtorquata from four source populations. Individual colonies were collected from four sites within Port Hacking (Sydney, Australia) and their offspring exposed to a range of copper concentrations. This approach, using a full-sib, split-family design, tests for a genotype by environment (G×E) interaction. Settlement and complete metamorphosis (recruitment) were measured as ecologically relevant endpoints. Larval sizes were also measured for each colony. Successful recruitment was significantly reduced by the highest copper concentration of 80μgL(-1). While there was no difference in pollution tolerance between sites, there was a significant G×E interaction, with large variation in the response of colony offspring within sites. Larval size differed significantly both between sites and between colonies and was positively correlated with tolerance. The high level of variation in copper tolerance between colonies suggests that there is considerable potential within populations to adapt to elevated copper levels, as tolerance is a heritable trait. Also, colonies that produce large larvae are more tolerant to copper, suggesting that tolerance may be a direct consequence of larger size.

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    • "However, poisonous chemicals can have unintended consequences for non-target species (Boogaard et al. 2003) or sensitivity may decrease over time (e.g. McKenzie et al. 2011). Alternative barriers that target sensory mechanisms have been developed for bycatch reduction in fisheries and could be applied to invasive species prevention, including aquatic strobe lights, bubble curtains, sonic and infrasonic recordings or blasts, mercury lights, or electric screens that are designed to influence the capacity or motivation to move (Goodson 1997; Taft 2000; Southwood et al. 2008; Stoner and Kaimmer 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Biological invasions are a prominent factor contributing to global biodiversity loss. As a result, managing invasive species is a priority for many conservation scientists and natural resource managers. Invasive species management requires a multidisciplinary approach and there is increasing recognition that physiology can be used to inform conservation efforts because physiological processes underlie an individual's response to its environment. For example, physiological concepts and tools can be used to assess the impacts of invasive animals on their new ecosystems , to predict which animal species are likely to become invasive, to prevent the introduction of non-native animals, and to control incipient or established invasions. To evaluate whether physiology is integrated within invasion science, the journal Biological Invasions was surveyed for a quantitative literature review. To determine how physiology is used to inform invasion science and which subdisciplines of physiology are particularly relevant to invasive animal management, the broader invasion literature was also reviewed to identify examples where physiology has contributed to studying and managing invasive animals. Only 6 % of articles published in Biological Invasions incorporated physiological knowledge or tools, mostly for the purposes of identifying traits associated with species invasiveness (i.e. prediction). However, the broader literature indicated that successful invasive species research and management can be supported by fundamental and applied physiological research for assessing, predicting, preventing, and controlling invasive animals. Development of new techniques and increased availability of equipment for remote or rapid monitoring of physiology in the field will increase opportunities for integrating physiology within invasion science.
    Biological Invasions 03/2015; 17(8). DOI:10.1007/s10530-015-0884-5 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    • "Differential sensitivity to metals in particular (Luoma & Rainbow 2005) can lead to shifts in the overall composition of a sessile community. Some species of solitary ascidian are adversely affected by increased Cu, while the bryozoan Watersipora subtorquata is largely Cu-tolerant (Johnston & Keough 2003; Dafforn et al. 2008; McKenzie et al. 2011). In this study, barnacles and ascidians were absent from the recruitment plates located within the marina, while bryozoans and hydroids occupied more space in the marina than in the outer channel sites. "
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    ABSTRACT: Anthropogenic modifications to waterways are common and their ecological consequences must be understood to effectively conserve local biodiversity. The facilitation of recreational boating activities often requires substantial alteration of natural areas, however the environmental and ecological consequences of such alterations are rarely described in the scientific literature. In this study, ecological and physico-chemical conditions were investigated in a recreational boating marina, located inside a marine park on the south-east coast of Australia. Recruitment panels were deployed for 8 weeks both inside and outside the marina, and differences in the composition of the developing fouling communities were observed. The recruitment of taxa, which often have short-lived larvae, was increased inside the marina (bryozoans, spirorbids and sponges) while the recruitment of taxa, which often have longer-lived larvae, was reduced or absent (barnacles, solitary ascidians and non-spirorbid polychaetes). Differences were also observed in environmental conditions inside the marina cf. directly outside. The marina environment had higher turbidity, temperature and pH along with higher concentrations of lead and copper in suspended sediments, while flow rates and trapped sediment loads were reduced inside the marina. The differences observed in the study suggest that there may be marked environmental changes associated with marina developments. The potential ecological consequences of these changes should be a primary consideration during the planning process, particularly for developments in locations of notable ecological value.
    Biofouling 07/2013; DOI:10.1080/08927014.2013.805751 · 3.70 Impact Factor
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    • "W. subtorquata larvae actively recruit to copper-polluted surfaces such as these, but then suffer high mortality and consequently experience strong selection (McKenzie 2010). Laboratory studies have also shown that tolerance to similar concentrations is a heritable trait in larval W. subtorquata (McKenzie et al. 2011) compared to higher concentrations where all genotypes are unlikely to survive beyond metamorphosis (Wisely 1958; Piola and Johnston 2006b; McKenzie et al. 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: The global spread of invasive species may be facilitated by adaptation to the practices that humans use to manage those species. For example, marine invertebrates that adapt to metal-based antifouling biocides on ship hulls may be more likely to be introduced to and establish in metal-polluted environments. We tested this idea by studying clonal variation in tolerance to, and ability to recover from, exposure to copper in a widespread invasive marine bryozoan, Watersipora subtorquata. We cloned colonies of this organism to independently test multiple environments in a genotype by environment design, and then created a genetic variance-covariance matrix. Genotypes were exposed to a gradient of copper concentrations and growth measured during exposure and after a recovery period. There was a significant genotype × environment interaction in growth during exposure and recovery. We found clonal variation in tolerance and ability to recover from exposure to copper, with growth during exposure apparently trading off against growth after exposure. A weak genetic correlation between growth during and after exposure further indicated that they are separate traits. Overall, the genetic variation within this population indicates that there is considerable potential for adaptation to copper, but this comes at a cost to growth in unpolluted environments.
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