Publication details.

Paper

Year:2020
Author(s):Marlene Wesselmann, Andrea Anton, Carlos M. Duarte, Iris E. Hendriks, Susana Agustí, Ioannis Savva, Eugenia T. Apostolaki, Núria Marbà
Title:Tropical seagrass Halophila stipulacea shifts thermal tolerance during Mediterranean invasion
Journal:PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
ISSN:0962-8452
Volume:287
Issue No.:1922
Pages:3001-3011
D.O.I.:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.3001
Web:https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2019.3001
Abstract:Exotic species often face new environmental conditions that are different from those that they are adapted to. The tropical seagrass Halophila stipulacea is a Lessepsian migrant that colonized the Mediterranean Sea around 100 years ago, where at present the minimum seawater temperature is cooler than in its native range in the Red Sea. Here, we tested if the temperature range in which H. stipulacea can exist is conserved within the species or if the exotic populations have shifted their thermal breadth and optimum due to the cooler conditions in the Mediterranean. We did so by comparing the thermal niche (e.g. optimal temperatures, and upper and lower thermal limits) of native (Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea) and exotic (Greece and Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea) populations of H. stipulacea. We exposed plants to 12 temperature treatments ranging from 8 to 40°C for 7 days. At the end of the incubation period, we measured survival, rhizome elongation, shoot recruitment, net population growth and metabolic rates. Upper and lower lethal thermal thresholds (indicated by 50% plant mortality) were conserved across populations, but minimum and optimal temperatures for growth and oxygen production were lower for Mediterranean populations than for the Red Sea one. The displacement of the thermal niche of exotic populations towards the colder Mediterranean Sea regime could have occurred within 175 clonal generations.

Related staff

  • Nuria Marbà Bordalba
  • Iris Eline Hendriks
  • Marlene Wesselmann
  • Related departments

  • Oceanography and Global Change
  • Related projects

  • SUMAECO MARBA (CTA 113)
  • MEDSHIFT CTA 107
  • Related research groups

  • Global Change Research