Physiological plasticity, long term resistance or acclimation to temperature, in the Antarctic bivalve, Laternula elliptica

Morley, Simon ORCID:; Hirse, Timo; Thorne, Michael ORCID:; Pörtner, Hans O.; Peck, Lloyd ORCID: 2012 Physiological plasticity, long term resistance or acclimation to temperature, in the Antarctic bivalve, Laternula elliptica. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 162 (1). 16-21.

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To further investigate the previously reported limited acclimation capacities of Antarctic marine stenotherms, the Antarctic mud clam, Laternula elliptica (King and Broderip, 1830–1831), was incubated at 3.0 °C for 89 days. The thermal windows of a suite of biochemical and physiological metrics that characterise tissue aerobic status, were then measured in response to acute temperature elevation (2–2.5 °C increase per week). To test if acclimation had occurred at the higher temperature, results were compared with published data, from the preceding year, for L. elliptica which had been incubated at ambient temperature (0.0 °C) and then subjected to the same acute temperature treatments. Incubation to 3.0 °C led to a temperature induced increase of tissue aerobic status (reduced intracellular cCO2 with increased O2 consumption, PLA (phospho-L-arginine) and ATP). At the highest acute temperature (7.5 °C) the increase in anaerobic pathways (summed acetate/succinate and propionate) was less after 3.0 °C than 0.0 °C incubation. No other metric shifted its reaction norm in response to acute temperature elevation and so whole animal acclimation had not occurred, even after 3 months at 3.0 °C. Combined with the constant mortality throughout the 3.0 °C incubation period, these data suggest that the recorded physiological changes were either the early stages of acclimation or, more likely, time limited resistance mechanisms.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Antarctic Funding Initiative Projects
BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Ecosystems
Additional Keywords: Beneficial acclimation, Aerobic metabolism, Anaerobic metabolism, Tissue energy status, Oxygen limitation
Date made live: 19 Mar 2012 12:11 +0 (UTC)

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