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Life-history responses to environmental change revealed by resurrected rotifers from a historically polluted lake


Zweerus, Naomi L; Sommer, Stefan; Fontaneto, Diego; Ozgul, Arpat (2017). Life-history responses to environmental change revealed by resurrected rotifers from a historically polluted lake. Hydrobiologia, 796(1):121-130.

Abstract

Life-history adaptations to environmental change can be studied retrospectively in organisms that produce dormant propagules using methods of resurrection ecology. Here, we investigated such responses in a planktonic freshwater rotifer, Brachionus calyciflorus. We resurrected 14 clonal lineages from resting eggs extracted from three distinct sediment layers—representing periods of high, medium and low copper pollution—of a previously contaminated lake (Lake Orta, Italy). We exposed the resurrected clones to four copper concentrations over 14 days and recorded population densities at 48 h intervals. If the original populations in Lake Orta had adapted to the changing pollution levels, we expected to find demographic evidence of this adaptation in the resurrected lineages. However, we found high clonal variation in population-growth dynamics, which was more pronounced within than between pollution periods. Moreover, intrinsic population growth rates (r) increased chronologically. As such, the results did not reveal signs of adaptive evolution. Furthermore, we found that lineages from the period of medium copper pollution invested less into sexual reproduction than lineages from the other periods. By using this bio-demographic perspective, our analysis of resurrected rotifers provides insights into the life-history responses of an aquatic invertebrate in an ever-changing environment.

Abstract

Life-history adaptations to environmental change can be studied retrospectively in organisms that produce dormant propagules using methods of resurrection ecology. Here, we investigated such responses in a planktonic freshwater rotifer, Brachionus calyciflorus. We resurrected 14 clonal lineages from resting eggs extracted from three distinct sediment layers—representing periods of high, medium and low copper pollution—of a previously contaminated lake (Lake Orta, Italy). We exposed the resurrected clones to four copper concentrations over 14 days and recorded population densities at 48 h intervals. If the original populations in Lake Orta had adapted to the changing pollution levels, we expected to find demographic evidence of this adaptation in the resurrected lineages. However, we found high clonal variation in population-growth dynamics, which was more pronounced within than between pollution periods. Moreover, intrinsic population growth rates (r) increased chronologically. As such, the results did not reveal signs of adaptive evolution. Furthermore, we found that lineages from the period of medium copper pollution invested less into sexual reproduction than lineages from the other periods. By using this bio-demographic perspective, our analysis of resurrected rotifers provides insights into the life-history responses of an aquatic invertebrate in an ever-changing environment.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:19 Dec 2016 10:29
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 07:28
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0018-8158
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-016-3070-6

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