Physiological and developmental responses to temperature by the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis
Reitzel, Adam M.
Tarrant, Ann M.
Finnerty, John R.
MetadataShow full item record
Environmental temperature and an organism’s ability to respond to it are critical determinants of the geographic distribution of species. Nematostella vectensis is a burrowing sea anemone that inhabits estuaries along the Atlantic coast of North America from Nova Scotia (45°N) to Georgia (31°N). Like other estuarine species, N. vectensis is exposed to large daily (>20°C) and seasonal (>25°C) fluctuations in temperature, requiring wide temperature tolerances. At the same time, the natural distribution of this species spans a pronounced thermal cline, which may promote the evolution of different temperature optima and tolerances in populations. We tested the thermal tolerance of N. vectensis adult and developmental stages, which showed all life cycle stages had critical temperatures within 1°C (lethal temperature 39.5 to 40.5°C). When temperature tolerance values were compared with recorded field data, N. vectensis is living in environments very close to their physiological limit. We utilized common garden experiments (13, 21, and 29°C) to test for temperature-specific growth and regeneration rates in N. vectensis from different portions of this species’ range. Temperature had a significant effect on growth and regeneration rate in all clonal lines, with a significant negative relationship between latitude of origin and growth rate at 29°C. Individuals from higher latitudes did not exhibit higher growth rates at cooler temperatures. Together, our results show a combination of broad thermal tolerances for developmental and adult stages and evidence for local adaptation to higher temperatures in populations living in lower latitude locations that would be physiologically compromised with future warming.
Author Posting. © Inter-Research, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of Inter-Research for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Marine Ecology Progress Series 484 (2013): 115-130, doi:10.3354/meps10281.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Upgrades to StellaBase facilitate medical and genetic studies on the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis Sullivan, James C.; Reitzel, Adam M.; Finnerty, John R. (Oxford University Press, 2007-11-03)The starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, is a basal metazoan organism that has recently emerged as an important model system in developmental biology and evolutionary genomics. StellaBase, the Nematostella Genomics ...
Light entrained rhythmic gene expression in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis : the evolution of the animal circadian clock Reitzel, Adam M.; Behrendt, Lars; Tarrant, Ann M. (Public Library of Science, 2010-09-21)Circadian rhythms in behavior and physiology are the observable phenotypes from cycles in expression of, interactions between, and degradation of the underlying molecular components. In bilaterian animals, the core molecular ...
Tarrant, Ann M.; Reitzel, Adam M.; Blomquist, Charles H.; Haller, Ferdinand; Tokarz, Janina; Adamski, Jerzy (2008-09-26)Cnidarians occupy a key evolutionary position as a sister group to bilaterian animals. While cnidarians contain a diverse complement of steroids, sterols, and other lipid metabolites, relatively little is known of the ...