Can trans-generational experiments be used to enhance species resilience to ocean warming and acidification?

Human-assisted, trans-generational exposure to ocean warming and acidification has been proposed as a conservation and/or restoration tool to produce resilient offspring. To improve our understanding of the need for and the efficacy of this approach, we characterised life history and physiological responses in offspring of the marine polychaete Ophryotrocha labronica exposed to predicted ocean warming (OW: + 3 °C), ocean acidification (OA: pH -0.5) and their combination (OWA: + 3 °C, pH -0.5), following the exposure of their parents to either control conditions (within-generational exposure) or the same conditions (trans-generational exposure). Trans-generational exposure to OW fully alleviated the negative effects of within-generational exposure to OW on fecundity and egg volume and was accompanied by increased metabolic activity. While within-generational exposure to OA reduced juvenile growth rates and egg volume, trans-generational exposure alleviated the former but could not restore the latter. Surprisingly, exposure to OWA had no negative impacts within- or trans-generationally. Our results highlight the potential for trans-generational laboratory experiments in producing offspring that are resilient to OW and OA. However, trans-generational exposure does not always appear to improve traits, and therefore may not be a universally useful tool for all species in the face of global change.

Chakravarti L. J., Jarrold M. D., Gibbin E. M., Christen F., Massamba-N’Siala G., Blier P. U. & Calosi P., in press. Can trans-generational experiments be used to enhance species resilience to ocean warming and acidification. Evolutionary Applications. Article.


  • Reset

Subscribe

OA-ICC Highlights


%d bloggers like this: