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EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Ecological Dynamics > Adaptation

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  • UTLs were used to determine whether whole animal acclimation had occurred in R. perrieri on heated settlement panels in the Antarctic. The panels were placed at 15m depth at two sites (South Cove and North Cove) near Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctic Peninsula (67.06861 S, 68.125 W). Heated and non-heated panels (one each of control, +1, +2) from the South Cove and North Cove sites colonised by R. perrieri were transferred to a 60 L jacketed tank with aerated sea water at the same temperature as the ambient sea water (0 degrees Celsius) and connected to a thermocirculator (Grant Instruments Ltd, Cambridge, UK). The temperature was raised at 1 degree Celsius h-1 with the temperature limit of each animal noted when they no longer responded to tactile stimuli. Funding was provided by the NERC grant NE/J007501/1.

  • A dataset of acclimation potential of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ectotherms across latitudes collected from the literature spanning the time period 1960 to 2015 with the aim to test the importance of physiological acclimation as a mechanism to buffer species against climate warming. The projected rate of environmental warming is used to calculate how many years and generations acclimation capacity will afford each species before it will exceed its thermal maximum. Acclimation capacity, generation time, latitudinal range extent and projected rate of warming are then combined into an index of vulnerability. This data together with critical thermal maxima of the ectotherms are presented here.

  • A dataset of acclimation potential of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ectotherms across latitudes collected from the literature spanning the time period 1960 to 2015 with the aim to test the importance of physiological acclimation as a mechanism to buffer species against climate warming. The projected rate of environmental warming is used to calculate how many years and generations acclimation capacity will afford each species before it will exceed its thermal maximum. Acclimation capacity, generation time, latitudinal range extent and projected rate of warming are then combined into an index of vulnerability. This data together with critical thermal maxima of the ectotherms are presented here.

  • The majority of Antarctic lichens produce sexual organs, and in many species sexual ascospores appear to be the only reproductive propagule. However, it is unknown whether sexual reproduction involves selfing (homothallism) or outcrossing (heterothallism). To investigate this issue we have established axenic cultures of sexual progeny in order to generate DNA fingerprints and thereby determine the breeding system.

  • The fieldwork involved collection of fertile lichens from a range of sites across the Antarctic Peninsula and isolation of the lichen-forming fungi into pure culture in a laboratory at Rothera. Approximately 5,600 monospore cultures were isolated, including B frigida. Approximately 400 thalli of Usnea species, and 3 O. frigida thalli have also been collected for whole thallus analysis. Logarithmic sampling transects of B frigida were conducted at Rothera (2 transects) and on Anchorage Island (one transect) to examine the genetic variation and geographic variation. All thalli of B frigida collected from the transects were successfully used to generate viable spores from four individual apothecia from each thallus. 16 spores were subcultured and maintained from each apothecium.

  • The data compiles different aspects of plant biology (e.g., anatomy, physiology, fitness and gene-expression) reported in scientific articles that experimentally explored the role of plant microbial symbionts in plant tolerance to chilling (0-15 degrees Celsius) and freezing (<0 degrees Celsius) conditions. Each variable included in the dataset is composed of at least four values, representing the mean of the measured variable with or without a given microbial symbiont and under control or cold conditions in a factorial design. The data were generated for a meta-analysis, and so the level of replication and standard deviation or standard error, plus other relevant information such as plant and microbial species, and source, are also included. The search from which the articles were obtained used ISI-web of Science used ENDOPH* AND COLD and MYCORRHIZA* AND COLD in both title and keyword fields from 1975 to 2019. Funding was provided by Posdoctoral-FONDECYT 3180441, FONDECYT 11140607 and the NERC-CONICYT awards (NE/P003079/1 - PII20150126)

  • Three species of Antarctic marine invertebrate: Nacella concinna (limpet), Paraceradocus miersi (crustacean) and Sterechinus neumayeri (urchin) were subjected to three different rates of warming and a two month acclimation trial at 2 degrees Celsius. The rates of warming were 1 degree Celsius per hour, 1 degree Celsius per day and 1 degree Celsius per 3 days. Animals were evaluated to determine whether there was a universal stress response at the cellular level. Funding was provided from the BAS National Capability Grant, funded by the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

  • Transcriptomic analyses were undertaken on both in situ collected and experimentally warmed blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) from Greenland. M. edulis were collected from the Godthabsfjorden near Nuuk, Greenland (64.45555, -51.14416) at the following locations and dates: Inner fjord (64.45941, -50.31030) on 11/06/2018; outer fjord (64.19666, -51.69) on 13/06/2018, and sub-tidal (64.19666, -51.69) on 13/06/2018 (outer fjord at 20-40cm below the lowest low water mark). The in situ collected inner and outer fjord intertidal animals with outer fjord subtidal animals used as controls were collected at 27 degree Celsius, 19 degree Celsius and 3 degree Celsius, respectively. Some of the outer fjord subtidal M. edulis were experimentally warmed to 22 degree Celsius and 32 degree Celsius for one hour to mimic high aerial exposure temperatures in the inner and outer fjord intertidal, respectively. RNA-Seq was performed on 5 animals for each treatment, with all subsequent bioinformatics analyses performed by Novogene, China. This work was supported by the Carlsberg Foundation, the Independent Research Fund Denmark (Danmarks Frie Forskningsfond) (DFF-International Postdoc; case no. 7027-00060B), a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (IF) under contract number 797387 and Aage V. Jensens Fond (Aage V. Jensens Foundation) and NERC-UKRI core funding to the British Antarctic Survey.