Brief Communication | Published:

Rapid evolution of highly variable competitive abilities in a key phytoplankton species

Nature Ecology & Evolutionvolume 2pages611613 (2018) | Download Citation

Abstract

Climate change challenges plankton communities, but evolutionary adaptation could mitigate the potential impacts. Here, we tested with the phytoplankton species Emiliania huxleyi whether adaptation to a stressor under laboratory conditions leads to equivalent fitness gains in a more natural environment. We found that fitness advantages that had evolved under laboratory conditions were masked by pleiotropic effects in natural plankton communities. Moreover, new genotypes with highly variable competitive abilities evolved on timescales significantly shorter than climate change.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Additional information

Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

References

  1. 1.

    Field, C. B., Behrenfeld, M. J., Randerson, J. T. & Falkowski, P. G. Science 281, 237–240 (1998).

  2. 2.

    Hays, G. C., Richardson, A. J. & Robinson, C. Trends Ecol. Evol. 20, 337–344 (2005).

  3. 3.

    Collins, S., Rost, B. & Rynearson, T. A. Evol. Appl. 7, 140–155 (2014).

  4. 4.

    Lohbeck, K. T., Riebesell, U. & Reusch, T. B. H. Nat. Geosci. 5, 346–351 (2012).

  5. 5.

    Paasche, E. Phycologia 40, 503–529 (2002).

  6. 6.

    Riebesell, U. et al. Nature 407, 364–367 (2000).

  7. 7.

    Schlüter, L., Lohbeck, K. T., Gröger, J. P., Riebesell, U. & Reusch, T. B. H. Sci. Adv. 2, (2016).

  8. 8.

    Bach, L. T. et al. PLoS ONE 11, e0159068 (2016).

  9. 9.

    Riebesell, U. et al. Nat. Geosci. 10, 19–23 (2017).

  10. 10.

    Monteiro, F. M. et al. Sci. Adv. 2, e1501822 (2016).

  11. 11.

    Lang, G. I. et al. Nature 500, 571–574 (2013).

  12. 12.

    Lohbeck, K. T., Riebesell, U., Collins, S. & Reusch, T. B. H. Evolution 67, 1892–1900 (2013).

  13. 13.

    Elena, S. F. & Lenski, R. E. Nat. Rev. Genet. 4, 457–469 (2003).

  14. 14.

    Lawrence, D. et al. PLoS Biol. 10, e1001330 (2012).

  15. 15.

    Collins, S. Proc. R. Soc. B Biol. Sci. 278, 247–255 (2011).

  16. 16.

    Scheinin, M., Riebesell, U., Rynearson, T. A., Lohbeck, K. T. & Collins, S. J. R. Soc. Interface 12, 1–5 (2015).

  17. 17.

    Schaum, C.-E. et al. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 1, 0094 (2017).

  18. 18.

    Lenski, R. E. ISME J. 11, 2181–2194 (2017).

  19. 19.

    Tatters, A. O. et al. Evolution 67, 1879–1891 (2013).

  20. 20.

    Rynearson, T. A. & Armbrust, E. V. Mol. Ecol. 14, 1631–1640 (2005).

  21. 21.

    Alpermann, T. J., Tillmann, U., Beszteri, B., Cembella, A. D. & John, U. J. Phycol. 46, 18–32 (2010).

  22. 22.

    Walsh, M. R. Trends Ecol. Evol. 28, 23–29 (2013).

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank L. Schlüter for providing the ten E. huxleyi lineages, J. Meyer for technical assistance in the laboratory and the KOSMOS Kristineberg team for maintenance of the mesocosm infrastructure. We are also grateful for the warm hospitality of the staff at the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Infrastructure at the University of Gothenburg. This research was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Science and Education in the framework of the Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification II project (FKZ 03F06550).

Author information

Author notes

    • Kai T. Lohbeck

    Present address: Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden

Affiliations

  1. GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany

    • Lennart T. Bach
    • , Kai T. Lohbeck
    • , Thorsten B. H. Reusch
    •  & Ulf Riebesell

Authors

  1. Search for Lennart T. Bach in:

  2. Search for Kai T. Lohbeck in:

  3. Search for Thorsten B. H. Reusch in:

  4. Search for Ulf Riebesell in:

Contributions

L.T.B. conceived the study, conducted the experiment, performed the measurements and data evaluation, and drafted the manuscript. T.B.H.R performed the statistical analyses. All authors designed the experiment and contributed to the manuscript revision.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lennart T. Bach.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary tables 1–3; supplementary figures 1–6.

  2. Life Sciences Reporting Summary

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0474-x