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Title: Environment and phenology shape local adaptation in thermal performance
Populations within species often exhibit variation in traits that reflect local adaptation and further shape existing adaptive potential for species to respond to climate change. However, our mechanistic understanding of how the environment shapes trait variation remains poor. Here, we used common garden experiments to quantify thermal performance in eight populations of the marine snail Urosalpinx cinerea across thermal gradients on the Atlantic and the Pacific coasts of North America. We then evaluated the relationship between thermal performance and environmental metrics derived from time-series data. Our results reveal a novel pattern of ‘mixed’ trait performance adaptation, where thermal optima were positively correlated with spawning temperature (cogradient variation), while maximum trait performance was negatively correlated with season length (countergradient variation). This counterintuitive pattern probably arises because of phenological shifts in the spawning season, whereby ‘cold’ populations delay spawning until later in the year when temperatures are warmer compared to ‘warm’ populations that spawn earlier in the year when temperatures are cooler. Our results show that variation in thermal performance can be shaped by multiple facets of the environment and are linked to organismal phenology and natural history. Understanding the impacts of climate change on organisms, therefore, requires the knowledge of how more » climate change will alter different aspects of the thermal environment. « less
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Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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