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1160319_O'Dwyer,JE_2021.pdf (2.62 MB)

Long term environmental stability drives reduced stress tolerance in salt lake invertebrates

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journal contribution
posted on 12.04.2021, 07:24 by James O'Dwyer, Nicholas Murphy
The capacity of species to tolerate physical stressors is critical in a world of increasing environmental instability, however, past selective environments should dramatically impact on future stress tolerance, particularly in isolated populations. Through stabilising selection, long-term environmental stasis may reduce physiological tolerance, creating an evolutionary legacy where populations are less fit if environments change. Few empirical studies have investigated this evolutionary legacy of past selection, and of particular interest whether stabilising selection in a benign environment reduces stress tolerance in natural systems. Here we use multiple populations of salt-lake invertebrates (Coxiella striata, Austrochiltonia subtenuis) with either stable or fluctuating environmental histories to investigate the relationship between stabilising selection and environmental stress resistance. Tolerance to both salinity and temperature stress were examined in invertebrate populations from lakes with long-term (decadal) stable environments and compared with populations from lakes with extreme salinity variations. Individuals from stable environments demonstrated significantly lower survival under both increasing salinity and temperature stresses when compared with environmentally unstable populations. Our results support the hypothesis that the evolutionary legacy from stabilising selection in constant environments leads to reduced stress tolerance. This finding demonstrates that under an increasingly variable climate, the evolutionary legacies of populations will be critical for future survival and adaptation.

History

Publication Date

26/02/2021

Journal

Rethinking Ecology

Volume

6

Pagination

16p. (p. 49-64)

Publisher

Pensoft Publishers

ISSN

2534-9260

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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