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Title: A single heat-stress bout induces rapid and prolonged heat acclimation in the California mussel, Mytilus californianus
Climate change is not only causing steady increases in average global temperatures but also increasing the frequency with which extreme heating events occur. These extreme events may be pivotal in determining the ability of organisms to persist in their current habitats. Thus, it is important to understand how quickly an organism's heat tolerance can be gained and lost relative to the frequency with which extreme heating events occur in the field. We show that the California mussel, Mytilus californianus —a sessile intertidal species that experiences extreme temperature fluctuations and cannot behaviourally thermoregulate—can quickly (in 24–48 h) acquire improved heat tolerance after exposure to a single sublethal heat-stress bout (2 h at 30 or 35°C) and then maintain this improved tolerance for up to three weeks without further exposure to elevated temperatures. This adaptive response improved survival rates by approximately 75% under extreme heat-stress bouts (2 h at 40°C). To interpret these laboratory findings in an ecological context, we evaluated 4 years of mussel body temperatures recorded in the field. The majority (approx. 64%) of consecutive heat-stress bouts were separated by 24–48 h, but several consecutive heat bouts were separated by as much as 22 days. Thus, the ability of M. more » californianus to maintain improved heat tolerance for up to three weeks after a single sublethal heat-stress bout significantly improves their probability of survival, as approximately 33% of consecutive heat events are separated by 3–22 days. As a sessile animal, mussels likely evolved the capability to rapidly gain and slowly lose heat tolerance to survive the intermittent, and often unpredictable, heat events in the intertidal zone. This adaptive strategy will likely prove beneficial under the extreme heat events predicted with climate change. « less
Authors:
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1655529
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10213574
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume:
287
Issue:
1940
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
20202561
ISSN:
0962-8452
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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