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Title: Effects of temperature on the behaviour and metabolism of an intertidal foraminifera and consequences for benthic ecosystem functioning
Abstract Heatwaves have increased in intensity, duration and frequency over the last decades due to climate change. Intertidal species, living in a highly variable environment, are likely to be exposed to such heatwaves since they can be emerged for more than 6 h during a tidal cycle. Little is known, however, on how temperature affects species traits (e.g. locomotion and behaviour) of slow-moving organisms such as benthic foraminifera (single-celled protists), which abound in marine sediments. Here, we examine how temperature influences motion-behaviour and metabolic traits of the dominant temperate foraminifera Haynesina germanica by exposing individuals to usual (6, 12, 18, 24, 30 °C) and extreme (high; i.e. 32, 34, 36 °C) temperature regimes. Our results show that individuals reduced their activity by up to 80% under high temperature regimes whereas they remained active under the temperatures they usually experience in the field. When exposed to a hyper-thermic stress (i.e. 36 °C), all individuals remained burrowed and the photosynthetic activity of their sequestered chloroplasts significantly decreased. Recovery experiments subsequently revealed that individuals initially exposed to a high thermal regime partially recovered when the hyper-thermic stress ceased. H. germanica contribution to surface sediment reworking substantially diminished from 10 mm 3 indiv −1 day −1 (usual temperature) to more » 0 mm 3 indiv −1 day −1 when individuals were exposed to high temperature regimes (i.e. above 32 °C). Given their role in sediment reworking and organic matter remineralisation, our results suggest that heatwaves may have profound long-lasting effects on the functioning of intertidal muddy ecosystems and some key biogeochemical cycles. « less
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Scientific Reports
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National Science Foundation
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