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Data from: Future temperature and salinity do not exert selection pressure on cyst germination of a toxic phytoplankton species

Citation

Jerney, Jacqueline; Suikkanen, Sanna; Lindehoff, Elin; Kremp, Anke (2019), Data from: Future temperature and salinity do not exert selection pressure on cyst germination of a toxic phytoplankton species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.c8c83nr

Abstract

Environmental conditions regulate the germination of phytoplankton resting stages. While some factors lead to synchronous germination, others stimulate germination of only a small fraction of the resting stages. This suggests that habitat filters may act on the germination level and thus affect selection of blooming strains. Benthic “seed banks” of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandria ostenfeldii from the Baltic Sea are genetically and phenotypically diverse, indicating a high potential for adaptation by selection on standing genetic variation. Here, we experimentally tested the role of climate‐related salinity and temperature as selection filters during germination and subsequent establishment of A. ostenfeldii strains. A representative resting cyst population was isolated from sediment samples, and germination and reciprocal transplantation experiments were carried out, including four treatments: Average present day germination conditions and three potential future conditions: high temperature, low salinity, and high temperature in combination with low salinity. We found that the final germination success of A. ostenfeldii resting cysts was unaffected by temperature and salinity in the range tested. A high germination success of more than 80% in all treatments indicates that strains are not selected by temperature and salinity during germination, but selection becomes more important shortly after germination, in the vegetative stage of the life cycle. Moreover, strains were not adapted to germination conditions. Instead, highly plastic responses occurred after transplantation and significantly higher growth rates were observed at higher temperature. High variability of strain‐specific responses has probably masked the overall effect of the treatments, highlighting the importance of testing the effect of environmental factors on many strains. It is likely that A. ostenfeldii populations can persist in the future, because suitable strains, which are able to germinate and grow well at potential future climate conditions, are part of the highly diverse cyst population.

Usage Notes

Location

Finland
Northern Baltic Sea
Åland