Acclimation responses to temperature vary with vertical stratification: implications for vulnerability of soil-dwelling species to extreme temperature events
Dooremalen, C. van; Berg, M.P. ; Ellers, J. - \ 2013
Global Change Biology 19 (2013)3. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 975 - 984.
fatty-acid-composition - springtail orchesella-cincta - membrane-lipid-composition - chill coma recovery - scots pine forest - drosophila-melanogaster - climate-change - phenotypic plasticity - entomopathogenic nematodes - environmental physiology
The occurrence of summer heat waves is predicted to increase in amplitude and frequency in the near future, but the consequences of such extreme events are largely unknown, especially for belowground organisms. Soil organisms usually exhibit strong vertical stratification, resulting in more frequent exposure to extreme temperatures for surface-dwelling species than for soil-dwelling species. Therefore soil-dwelling species are expected to have poor acclimation responses to cope with temperature changes. We used five species of surface-dwelling and four species of soil-dwelling Collembola that habituate different depths in the soil. We tested for differences in tolerance to extreme temperatures after acclimation to warm and cold conditions. We also tested for differences in acclimation of the underlying physiology by looking at changes in membrane lipid composition. Chill coma recovery time, heat knockdown time and fatty acid profiles were determined after 1 week of acclimation to either 5 or 20 °C. Our results showed that surface-dwelling Collembola better maintained increased heat tolerance across acclimation temperatures, but no such response was found for cold tolerance. Concordantly, four of the five surface-dwelling Collembola showed up to fourfold changes in relative abundance of fatty acids after 1 week of acclimation, whereas none of the soil-dwelling species showed a significant adjustment in fatty acid composition. Strong physiological responses to temperature fluctuations may have become redundant in soil-dwelling species due to the relative thermal stability of their subterranean habitat. Based on the results of the four species studied, we expect that unless soil-dwelling species can temporarily retreat to avoid extreme temperatures, the predicted increase in heat waves under climatic change renders these soil-dwelling species more vulnerable to extinction than species with better physiological capabilities. Being able to act under a larger thermal range is probably costly and could reduce maximum performance at the optimal temperature
Fatty acid compostion and extreme temperature tolerance following exposure to fluctuating temperatures in a soil arthropod
Dooremalen, C. van; Suring, W. ; Ellers, J. - \ 2011
Journal of Insect Physiology 57 (2011)9. - ISSN 0022-1910 - p. 1267 - 1273.
membrane-lipid-composition - thermal-reaction norms - chill coma recovery - drosophila-melanogaster - homeoviscous adaptation - cycling temperatures - cold resistance - heat-resistance - plasticity - acclimation
Ectotherms commonly adjust their lipid composition to ambient temperature to counteract detrimental thermal effects on lipid fluidity. However, the extent of lipid remodeling and the associated fitness consequences under continuous temperature fluctuations are not well-described. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of repeated temperature fluctuations on fatty acid composition and thermal tolerance. We exposed the springtail Orchesella cincta to two constant temperatures of 5 and 20 °C, and a continuously fluctuating treatment between 5 and 20 °C every 2 days. Fatty acid composition differed significantly between constant low and high temperatures. As expected, animals were most cold tolerant in the low temperature treatment, while heat tolerance was highest under high temperature. Under fluctuating temperatures, fatty acid composition changed with temperature initially, but later in the experiment fatty acid composition stabilized and closely resembled that found under constant warm temperatures. Consistent with this, heat tolerance in the fluctuating temperature treatment was comparable to the constant warm treatment. Cold tolerance in the fluctuating temperature treatment was intermediate compared to animals acclimated to constant cold or warmth, despite the fact that fatty acid composition was adjusted to warm conditions. This unexpected finding suggests that in animals acclimated to fluctuating temperatures an additional underlying mechanism is involved in the cold shock response. Other aspects of homeoviscous adaptation may protect animals during extreme cold. This paper forms a next step to fully understand the functioning of ectotherms in more thermally variable environments