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Thermal transgenerational effects remain after two generations


Salinas, Santiago (2021), Thermal transgenerational effects remain after two generations, Dryad, Dataset,


Transgenerational plasticity (TGP) is increasingly recognized as a mechanism by which organisms can respond to environments that change across generations. Although recent empirical and theoretical studies have explored conditions under which TGP is predicted to evolve, it is still unclear whether the effects of the parental environment will remain beyond the offspring generation. Using a small cyprinodontid fish, we explored multi-generational thermal TGP to address two related questions. First (experiment 1), does the strength of TGP decline or accumulate across multiple generations? Second (experiment 2), how does the experience of a temperature novel to both parents and offspring affect the strength of TGP? In the first experiment, we found a significant interaction between F1 and F2 temperatures and juvenile growth, but no effect of egg diameter. The strength of TGP between F0 and F1 generations was similar in both experiments but declined in subsequent generations. Further, experience of a novel temperature accelerated the decline. This pattern, although similar to that found in other species, is certainly not universally observed, suggesting that theoretical and empirical effort is needed to understand the multi-generational dynamics of TGP.


See methods in paper.


National Science Foundation, Award: OCE-1130483-004