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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 429:157-167 (2011)  -  DOI:

Thermal tolerance of larval stages of the Chilean kelp crab Taliepus dentatus 

Daniela Storch1,2,*, Miriam Fernández1, Sergio A. Navarrete1, Hans-Otto Pörtner

1Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas and Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology and Biodiversity, Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 114-D, Santiago, Chile
2Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Integrative Ecophysiology, Postfach 120161, 27515 Bremerhaven, Germany

ABSTRACT: Physiological responses of larval stages can differ from those of the adults, affecting key ecological processes. Therefore, developing a mechanistic understanding of larval responses to environmental conditions is essential vis-à-vis climate change. We studied the thermal tolerance windows, defined by lower and upper pejus (Tp) and critical temperatures (Tc), of zoea I, II, and megalopa stages of the Chilean kelp crab Taliepus dentatus. Tp limits determine the temperature range where aerobic scope is maximal and functioning of the organism is unrestrained, and were estimated from direct observations of larval activity. Tc limits define the transition from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism, and were estimated from the relationship between standard metabolic rate and temperature. Zoea I showed the broadest, zoea II an intermediate, and megalopae the narrowest tolerance window (Tp). Optimum performance in megalopae was limited to Tp between 11 and 15°C, while their Tc ranged between 7 and 19°C. Although Tc may be seldom encountered by larvae, the narrower Tp temperatures can frequently expose larvae to unfavorable conditions that can drastically constrain their performance. Temperatures beyond the Tp range of megalopae have been observed in most spring and summer months in central Chile, and can have important consequences for larval swimming per­formance and impair their ability to avoid predators or settle successfully. Besides the well-documented effects of temperature on development time, variability in field temperatures beyond Tp can affect performance of particular larval stages, which could drive large-scale varia­bility in recruitment and population dynamics of T. dentatus and possibly other ­invertebrate species.

KEY WORDS: Metabolic rate · Critical temperature · Heart beat rate · Larvae · Megalopa · Sea surface temperature · Recruitment · Zoea

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Cite this article as: Storch D, Fernández M, Navarrete SA, Pörtner HO (2011) Thermal tolerance of larval stages of the Chilean kelp crab Taliepus dentatus . Mar Ecol Prog Ser 429:157-167.

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