Skip to main content

Data from: Rapid adaptation to high temperatures in Chironomus riparius

Cite this dataset

Foucault, Quentin et al. (2018). Data from: Rapid adaptation to high temperatures in Chironomus riparius [Dataset]. Dryad.


Effects of seasonal or daily temperature variation on fitness and physiology of ectothermic organisms and their ways to cope with such variations have been widely studied. However, the way multivoltines organisms cope with temperature variations from a generation to another is still not well understood and complex to identify. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the multivoltine midge Chironomus riparius Meigen (1803) responds mainly via acclimation as predicted by current theories, or if rapid genetic adaptation is involved. To investigate this issue, a common garden approach has been applied. A mix of larvae from five European populations was raised in the laboratory at three different pre-exposure temperatures (PET): 14, 20, 26°C. After three and five generations respectively, larvae were exposed to three treatment temperatures (TT) 14, 20, 26°C, mortality was monitored for the first 48h and after emergence. After three generations significant mortality rate differences depended on an interaction of PET and TT. This finding supports the hypothesis that chironomids respond rapidly to climatic variation via adaptive mechanisms, and to a lesser extent via phenotypic plasticity. The result of the experiment indicates that three generations were sufficient to adapt to warm temperature, decreasing the mortality rate, highlighting the potential for chironomids to rapidly respond to seasonally changing conditions.

Usage notes