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Schlüter, Lothar; Lohbeck, Kai T; Gutowska, Magdalena A; Gröger, Joachim P; Riebesell, Ulf; Reusch, Thorsten B H (2015): Long-term dynamics of adaptive evolution in a globally important coccolithophore to ocean acidification. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Schlüter, Lothar; Lohbeck, Kai T; Gröger, Joachim P; Riebesell, Ulf; Reusch, Thorsten B H (2016): Long-term dynamics of adaptive evolution in a globally important phytoplankton species to ocean acidification. Science Advances, 2(7), e1501660-e1501660,

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Recent evolution experiments have revealed that marine phytoplankton may adapt to global change, for example to ocean warming or acidification. Long-term adaptation to novel environments is a dynamic process and phenotypic change can take place thousands of generations after exposure to novel conditions. Using the longest evolution experiment performed in any marine species to date (4 yrs, = 2100 generations), we show that in the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi, long-term adaptation to ocean acidification is complex and initial phenotypic responses may revert for important traits. While fitness increased continuously, calcification was restored within the first 500 generations but later reduced in response to selection, enhancing physiological declines of calcification in response to ocean acidification. Interestingly, calcification was not constitutively reduced but revealed rates similar to control treatments when transferred back to present-day CO2 conditions. Growth rate increased with time in controls and adaptation treatments, although the effect size of adaptation assessed through reciprocal assay experiments varied. Several trait changes were associated with selection for higher cell division rates under laboratory conditions, such as reduced cell size and lower particulate organic carbon content per cell. Our results show that phytoplankton may evolve phenotypic plasticity that can affect biogeochemically important traits, such as calcification, in an unforeseen way under future ocean conditions.
Date/Time Start: 2010-05-28T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 2015-03-08T00:00:00
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