Detalles de la publicación.

Artículo

Año:2017
Autor(es):G. Hernán, M.J. Ortega, A.M. Gándara, I. Castejón, J. Terrados, F. Tomas
Título:Future warmer seas: increased stress and susceptibility to grazing in seedlings of a marine habitat-forming species
Revista:GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY
ISSN:1354-1013
JCR Impact Factor:8.502
Páginas:1-14
D.O.I.:10.1111/gcb.13768
Resumen:Increases in seawater temperature are expected to have negative consequences for marine organisms. Beyond individual effects, species-specific differences in thermal tolerance are predicted to modify species interactions and increase the strength of top-down effects, particularly in plant–herbivore interactions. Shifts in trophic interactions will be especially important when affecting habitat-forming species such as seagrasses, as the consequences on their abundance will cascade throughout the food web. Seagrasses are a major component of coastal ecosystems offering important ecosystem services, but are threatened by multiple anthropogenic stressors, including warming. The mechanistic understanding of seagrass responses to warming at multiple scales of organization remains largely unexplored, especially in early-life stages such as seedlings. Yet, these early-life stages are critical for seagrass expansion processes and adaptation to climate change. In this study, we determined the effects of a 3 month experimental exposure to present and predicted mean summer SST of the Mediterranean Sea (25°C, 27°C, and 29°C) on the photophysiology, size, and ecology (i.e., plant-herbivore interactions) of seedlings of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica. Warming resulted in increased mortality, leaf necrosis, and respiration as well as lower carbohydrate reserves in the seed, the main storage organ in seedlings. Aboveground biomass and root growth were also limited with warming, which could hamper seedling establishment success. Furthermore, warming increased the susceptibility to consumption by grazers, likely due to lower leaf fiber content and thickness. Our results indicate that warming will negatively affect seagrass seedlings through multiple direct and indirect pathways: increased stress, reduced establishment potential, lower storage of carbohydrate reserves, and increased susceptibly to consumption. This work provides a significant step forward in understanding the major mechanisms that will drive the capacity of seagrass seedlings to adapt and survive to warming, highlighting the potential additive effects that herbivory will have on ultimately determining seedling success.

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