Variable temperature stress in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Maupas) and its implications for sensitivity to an additional chemical stressor

Cedergreen, Nina; Nørhave, Nils Jakob; Svendsen, Claus; Spurgeon, David J.. 2016 Variable temperature stress in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Maupas) and its implications for sensitivity to an additional chemical stressor. PLoS ONE, 11 (1), e0140277. 21, pp.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
N516219JA.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview


A wealth of studies has investigated how chemical sensitivity is affected by temperature, however, almost always under different constant rather than more realistic fluctuating regimes. Here we compared how the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans responds to copper at constant temperatures (8–24°C) and under fluctuation conditions of low (±4°C) and high (±8°C) amplitude (averages of 12, 16, 20°C and 16°C respectively). The DEBkiss model was used to interpret effects on energy budgets. Increasing constant temperature from 12–24°C reduced time to first egg, life-span and population growth rates consistent with temperature driven metabolic rate change. Responses at 8°C did not, however, accord with this pattern (including a deviation from the Temperature Size Rule), identifying a cold stress effect. High amplitude variation and low amplitude variation around a mean temperature of 12°C impacted reproduction and body size compared to nematodes kept at the matching average constant temperatures. Copper exposure affected reproduction, body size and life-span and consequently population growth. Sensitivity to copper (EC50 values), was similar at intermediate temperatures (12, 16, 20°C) and higher at 24°C and especially the innately stressful 8°C condition. Temperature variation did not increase copper sensitivity. Indeed under variable conditions including time at the stressful 8°C condition, sensitivity was reduced. DEBkiss identified increased maintenance costs and increased assimilation as possible mechanisms for cold and higher copper concentration effects. Model analysis of combined variable temperature effects, however, demonstrated no additional joint stressor response. Hence, concerns that exposure to temperature fluctuations may sensitise species to co-stressor effects seem unfounded in this case.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Acreman
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 15 Feb 2017 10:38 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...