Skip to main content
Dryad logo

The old and the large may suffer disproportionately during episodes of high temperature: evidence from a keystone zooplankton species

Citation

Burton, Tim (2020), The old and the large may suffer disproportionately during episodes of high temperature: evidence from a keystone zooplankton species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8931zcrmk

Abstract

Widespread declines in the body size of aquatic ectotherms have been attributed to the poorer ability of older, larger individuals to tolerate high temperature. Here, using the thermal death time curve framework, we investigate the relationship between temperature tolerance and size/age by measuring the change in heat tolerance of the keystone zooplankton species Daphnia magna across a range of temperature intensities (and hence exposures of varying duration) among individuals that differed up to three-fold in size and thus varied in age also. Across the gradient of exposure temperatures, younger, smaller individuals were more tolerant than older, larger individuals. This suggests that the young and the small may be better equipped to withstand temperature challenges that are both intense/brief and more moderate/prolonged. Our study generalizes results obtained from more acute tolerance assays, providing physiological evidence consistent with the observed reductions in ectotherm body size as a response to warming in aquatic systems.

Methods

Data was collected experimentally in laboratory conditions.

Funding

H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Award: MSCA-IF 658530

Norges Forskningsråd, Award: Klimaforsk 244046