Extreme sensitivity of biological function to temperature in Antarctic marine species

Peck, L.S., Webb, K.E. and Bailey, D.M. (2004) Extreme sensitivity of biological function to temperature in Antarctic marine species. Functional Ecology, 18(5), pp. 625-630. (doi:10.1111/j.0269-8463.2004.00903.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0269-8463.2004.00903.x

Abstract

<b>1.</b> Biological capacities to respond to changing environments dictate success or failure of populations and species over time. The major environmental feature in this context is often temperature, and organisms across the planet vary widely in their capacity to cope with temperature variation. With very few exceptions, Antarctic marine species are more sensitive to temperature variation than marine groups elsewhere, having survivable temperature envelopes between 5degreesC and 12°C above the minimum sea temperature of -2°C. <b>2.</b> Our findings show that in biological functions important to long-term survival these animals are even more tightly constrained. The Antarctic bivalve mollusc Laternula elliptica and limpet Nacella concinna both survive a few days in experiments at 9-10°C, but suffer 50% failure in essential biological activities at 2-3°C and complete loss at 5°C. The Antarctic scallop Adamussium colbecki is even more sensitive, and loses the ability to swim as temperature approaches 2degreesC. <b>3.</b> These failures of activity are caused by a loss of aerobic capacity, and the animals investigated are so sensitive that a 2°C rise in sea temperature could cause population or species removal from the Southern Ocean.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:aerobic scope; Antarctic; bivalve; burrowing; climate change; ecological limit; extinction; mollusc; swimming; temperature
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bailey, Dr David
Authors: Peck, L.S., Webb, K.E., and Bailey, D.M.
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QP Physiology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Journal Name:Functional Ecology
Publisher:Blackwell
ISSN:0269-8463
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2004 Blackwell
First Published:First published in Functional Biology 18(5):625-630
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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