Publication details.


Author(s):C. Mota, A. Engelen, E. Serrao, M. Coelho, N. Marbà, D. Krause-Jensen, G. Pearson
Title:Differentiation in fitness-related traits in response to elevated temperatures between leading and trailing edge populations of marine macrophytes
Journal:PLoS One
JCR Impact Factor:2.776
Issue No.:9
Abstract:© 2018 Mota et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The nature of species distribution boundaries is a key subject in ecology and evolution. Edge populations are potentially more exposed to climate-related environmental pressures. Despite research efforts, little is known about variability in fitness-related traits in leading (i.e., colder, high latitude) versus trailing (i.e., warmer, low latitude) edge populations. We tested whether the resilience, i.e. the resistance and recovery, of key traits differs between a distributional cold (Greenland) and warm (Portugal) range edge population of two foundation marine macrophytes, the intertidal macroalga Fucus vesiculosus and the subtidal seagrass Zostera marina. The resistance and recovery of edge populations to elevated seawater temperatures was compared under common experimental conditions using photosynthetic efficiency and expression of heat shock proteins (HSP). Cold and warm edge populations differed in their response, but this was species specific. The warm edge population of F. vesiculosus showed higher thermal resistance and recovery whereas the cold leading edge was less tolerant. The opposite was observed in Z. marina, with reduced recovery at the warm edge, while the cold edge was not markedly affected by warming. Our results confirm that differentiation of thermal stress responses can occur between leading and trailing edges, but such responses depend on local population traits and are thus not predictable just based on thermal pressures.

Related staff

  • Nuria Marbà Bordalba
  • Related departments

  • Oceanography and Global Change
  • Related research groups

  • Global Change Research