Oct 25, 2018

Phytoplankton thermal responses adapt in the absence of hard thermodynamic constraints

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Dimitrios - Georgios KontopoulosSamraat Pawar


To better predict how populations and communities respond to climatic temperature variation, it is necessary to understand how the shape of the response of fitness-related traits to temperature evolves (the thermal performance curve). Currently, there is disagreement about the extent to which the evolution of thermal performance curves is constrained. One school of thought has argued for the prevalence of thermodynamic constraints through enzyme kinetics, whereas another argues that adaptation can - at least partly - overcome such constraints. To shed further light on this debate, we perform a phylogenetic meta-analysis of the thermal performance curves of growth rate of phytoplankton - a globally important functional group -, controlling for environmental effects (habitat type and thermal regime). We find that thermodynamic constraints have a minor influence on the shape of the curve. In particular, we detect a very weak increase of maximum performance with the temperature at which the curve peaks, suggesting a weak "hotter-is-better" constraint. Also, instead of a constant thermal sensitivity of growth across species, as might be expected from strong constraints, we find that all aspects of the thermal performance curve evolv...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Meta-Analysis (Publications)
Meta Analysis (Statistical Procedure)
Adapt (substance)
EAF2 gene
Human Activity Profile Test

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