Integrating laboratory experiments and biogeographic modelling approaches to understand sensitivity to ocean warming in rare and common marine annelids
Massamba N'Siala, Gloria et al. (2022), Integrating laboratory experiments and biogeographic modelling approaches to understand sensitivity to ocean warming in rare and common marine annelids, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.80gb5mksq
Among ectotherms, rare species are expected to have a narrower thermal niche breadth and reduced acclimation capacity and thus be more vulnerable to global warming than their common relatives. To assess these hypotheses, we experimentally quantified the thermal sensitivity of seven common, uncommon, and rare species of temperate marine annelids of the genus Ophryotrocha to assess those species’ vulnerability to ocean warming. We measured the upper and lower limits of physiological thermal tolerance, survival, and reproductive performance of each species along a temperature gradient (18, 24, and 30 °C). We then combined this information to produce curves of each species’ fundamental thermal niche by including trait plasticity. Each thermal curve was then expressed as a habitat suitability index (HSI) and projected for the Mediterranean Sea and temperate Atlantic Ocean under a present day (1970-2000), mid- (2050-2059) and late- (2090-2099) 21st Century scenario for two climate change scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). Rare and uncommon species showed a reduced upper thermal tolerance compared to common species, and the niche breadth and acclimation capacity were comparable among groups. The simulations predicted an overall increase in the HSI for all species and identified potential hotspots of HSI decline for uncommon and rare species along the warm boundaries of their potential distribution, though they failed to project the higher sensitivity of these species into a greater vulnerability to ocean warming. In the discussion, we provide elements and caveats on the implications of our results for conservation efforts.
See Material and Methods in the pre-print
European Union, Award: 659359
Ministero Italiano dell’Universitá e della Ricerca, Award: YS7AP3
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Award: 06500
Nouveaux Chercheurs Universitaires of the Fonds de Recherche du Québec, Award: 199173