Brief Communication

Climate warming reduces gut microbiota diversity in a vertebrate ectotherm

  • Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, Article number: 0161 (2017)
  • doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0161
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Abstract

Climate change is now considered to be the greatest threat to biodiversity and ecological networks, but its impacts on the bacterial communities associated with plants and animals remain largely unknown. Here, we studied the consequences of climate warming on the gut bacterial communities of an ectotherm, the common lizard (Zootoca vivipara), using a semi-natural experimental approach. We found that 2–3 °C warmer climates cause a 34% loss of populations’ microbiota diversity, with possible negative consequences for host survival.

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Acknowledgements

We thank A. Cave, B. Rémurier, L. Geidel and A. Fournier for fieldwork assistance, H. Holota for performing genetic extractions, and J. Chave and G. Yvon-Durocher for their helpful comments on the manuscript. We are also grateful to the genotoul bioinformatics platform Toulouse Midi-Pyrenees (Bioinfo Genotoul) for providing computing and storage resources. This work was carried out at the Station d’Ecologie Theorique et Experimentale (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) UMR 5321) and the Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique (CNRS, Université Paul Sabatier, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Formation de l’Enseignement Agricole (ENSFEA), UMR 5174), and was supported by the Laboratoires d’Excellence TULIP (ANR-10-LABX-41) and CEBA (ANR-10-LABX-25-01). J.C. was supported by an ANR-12-JSV7-0004-01, and J.W. by an AOI Fonds Scientifique – ENSFEA. This work was supported by an ‘Investissements d'avenir’ programme from the Agence Nationale de la recherche number ANR-11-INBS-0001AnaEE-Services.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. CNRS UMR 5321, Station d’Ecologie Théorique et Expérimentale, 09200 Moulis, France.

    • Elvire Bestion
    • , Staffan Jacob
    •  & Murielle Richard
  2. CNRS-Université Paul Sabatier-ENSFEA UMR 5174, Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique, 118 Route de Narbonne, Bât 4R1, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 9, France.

    • Elvire Bestion
    • , Staffan Jacob
    • , Lucie Zinger
    • , Lucie Di Gesu
    • , Joël White
    •  & Julien Cote
  3. Environmental and Sustainability Institute, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK.

    • Elvire Bestion
  4. Université Catholique de Louvain, Earth and Life Institute, Biodiversity Research Centre, Croix du Sud 4, L7-07-04, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

    • Staffan Jacob
  5. Institut de Biologie de l’École Normale Supérieure, École Normale Supérieure, Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University, CNRS UMR 8197, INSERM U1024, F-75005 Paris, France.

    • Lucie Zinger

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Contributions

E.B., J.W. and J.C. designed the study. E.B. and J.C. performed the experiments. E.B. collected genetic data, L.D.G. and J.W. extracted microbial genetic data, and M.R. extracted and analysed lizard genetic data. S.J., J.W. and L.Z. performed molecular and bioinformatics analyses, and E.B., J.C., L.D.G. and S.J. analysed the data. E.B. wrote the first draft, and J.C., J.W., S.J. and L.Z. contributed significantly to the writing of the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Elvire Bestion.

Supplementary information

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  1. 1.

    Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Methods, Supplementary Results, Supplementary References, Supplementary Figures 1–5, Supplementary Tables 1–20.