Adaptation of a marine diatom to ocean acidification and warming reveals constraints and trade-offs

Highlights

  • Ocean warming is the main driver for the adaptation of a marine diatom
  • The adaptation resulting from warming can be constrained by ocean acidification
  • The adaptations to ocean acidification and warming come with trade-offs

Abstract

Ocean acidification and warming are recognized as two major anthropogenic perturbations of the modern ocean. However, little is known about the adaptive response of phytoplankton to them. Here we examine the adaptation of a marine diatom Thalassiosira weissflogiito ocean acidification in combination with ocean warming. Our results show that ocean warming have a greater effect than acidification on the growth of T. weissflogiiover the long-term selection experiment (~380 generations), as well as many temperature response traits (e.g., optimum temperatures for photosynthesis, maximal net photosynthetic oxygen evolution rates, activation energy) in thermal reaction norm. These results suggest that ocean warming is the main driver for the evolution of the marine diatom T. weissflogii, rather than oceanacidification. However, the evolution resulting fromwarming can be constrained by ocean acidification, where ocean warming did not impose any effects at high CO2level. Furthermore, adaptationsto ocean warming alone or to the combination of ocean acidification and warming comewith trade-offs by inhibiting photochemical performances. The constrains and trade-offs associated with the adaptation to ocean acidification and warming demonstrated in this study, should be considered for parameterizing evolutionary responses in eco-evolutionary models of phytoplankton dynamics in a future ocean.

Zhong J., Guo Y., Liang Z., Huang Q., Lu H., Pan J., Li P., Jin P. & Xia J., in press. Adaptation of a marine diatom to ocean acidification and warming reveals constraints and trade-offs. Science of The Total Environment. Article (subscription required).

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