Predictions of individual responses to climate change are often based on the assumption that temperature affects individuals’ metabolism independently of their body mass. However, empirical evidence indicates that interactive effects exist. Here, we investigated the response of individual Standard Metabolic Rate (SMR) to annual temperature range and forecasted temperature rises of 0.6-1.2°C above the current maxima, under the conservative climate change scenario IPCC-RCP2.6. As a model organism we used the amphipod Gammarus insensibilis, collected across latitudes along the western coast of the Adriatic Sea down to the southernmost limit of the species’ distributional range, with individuals varying in body mass (0.4-13.57mg). Overall, we found that the effect of temperature on SMR is mass-dependent. Within the annual temperature range, the mass-specific SMR of small/young individuals increased with temperature at a greater rate (activation energy: E=0.48 eV) than large/old ones (E=0.29 eV), with a higher metabolic level for high-latitude than low-latitude populations. However, under the forecasted climate conditions, the large individuals’ mass-specific SMR responded differently across latitudes. Unlike the higher-latitude population, whose mass-specific SMR increased in response to the forecasted climate change across all size classes, in the lower-latitude populations, this increase was not seen in large individuals. The larger/older conspecifics at lower latitudes could therefore be the first to experience the negative impacts of warming on metabolism-related processes. Although the ecological collapse of such a basic trophic level (aquatic amphipods) due to climate change would have profound consequences for population ecology, the risk is significantly mitigated by phenotypic and genotypic adaptation.

Metabolic rate and climate change across latitudes: Evidence of mass-dependent responses in aquatic amphipods

Marco Bertoli
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Elisabetta Pizzul
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Predictions of individual responses to climate change are often based on the assumption that temperature affects individuals’ metabolism independently of their body mass. However, empirical evidence indicates that interactive effects exist. Here, we investigated the response of individual Standard Metabolic Rate (SMR) to annual temperature range and forecasted temperature rises of 0.6-1.2°C above the current maxima, under the conservative climate change scenario IPCC-RCP2.6. As a model organism we used the amphipod Gammarus insensibilis, collected across latitudes along the western coast of the Adriatic Sea down to the southernmost limit of the species’ distributional range, with individuals varying in body mass (0.4-13.57mg). Overall, we found that the effect of temperature on SMR is mass-dependent. Within the annual temperature range, the mass-specific SMR of small/young individuals increased with temperature at a greater rate (activation energy: E=0.48 eV) than large/old ones (E=0.29 eV), with a higher metabolic level for high-latitude than low-latitude populations. However, under the forecasted climate conditions, the large individuals’ mass-specific SMR responded differently across latitudes. Unlike the higher-latitude population, whose mass-specific SMR increased in response to the forecasted climate change across all size classes, in the lower-latitude populations, this increase was not seen in large individuals. The larger/older conspecifics at lower latitudes could therefore be the first to experience the negative impacts of warming on metabolism-related processes. Although the ecological collapse of such a basic trophic level (aquatic amphipods) due to climate change would have profound consequences for population ecology, the risk is significantly mitigated by phenotypic and genotypic adaptation.
2022
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https://journals.biologists.com/jeb/article/225/22/jeb244842/284638/Metabolic-rate-and-climate-change-across-latitudes
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3034380
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